2.5 out of 10
Release Date: 1st February 2016 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Freddie Hutton-Mills & Bart Ruspoli (Genesis / World War Dead)
Cast: Ed Stoppard, Ray Panthaki, Daniel Feuerriegel, Philip Barantini, Ben Shafik, Sally Leonard, Jerry Anderson with Vas Blackwood and Robert Glenister
Writer: Freddie Hutton-Mills & Bart Ruspoli
I doubt the makers of Cryptic have heard of Harold Pinter. The set-up is vaguely Pinter-esque or even Beckett-ian, what with the optulet of London gangsters holed up in a single room (a crypt in this case) awaiting a fate unbeknownst to all of them. Instead we have a ropey homage to Reservoir Dogs and From Dusk ‘Till Dawn and Marley and Me.
The trailer makes this look vaguely promising but once the script reveals its utter ineptitude the actors promptly fall down the hole one after the other. Its a pile up of bad acting and a unspeakably unfunny and arch script, that’s in turn basic and indecipherable.
Six gangsters, a passing junkie and a lawyer are all summoned to a crypt to guard a coffin. Meanwhile, some of the gangsters are embroiled in a murder/rape of a girl at their boss’ nightclub (or something). Over recent weeks since the girl’s death several of the mobster’s associates have gone missing or turned up dead. Rumour has it a vampire is to blame. Cryptic or what? More like Choc Dip. Oh yeah, and what’s in the coffin? Can you guess? Well, I wish it had been a refund.
A handful of indie stalwarts submit very uneven performances – take a bow Ray Panthaki (WORLD WAR DEAD) and Vas Blackwood (CREEP). Ed Stoppard (JOY DIVISION), usually so reliable can’t convince as the suave gang banker, Sexy Steve Stevens. He has the lion’s share of the bad dialogue. His character is supposed to be the intelligent, tactical one, but his lack of smarts betrays the lack of smarts in the filmmakers themselves. Fun scenes and potentially funny lines are miss timed or strangled in the delivery. The outcome is a disappointment as it’s botched and fumbled in the execution. Much like this directing duo’s last film (which I think was made later than Cryptic), World War Dead, this feels too rushed and scrappy around the edges. Subtitles or a better sound mix would also have helped as some actors were aided by the small – one room set and others weren’t. Plot-holes abound too. 8 people in a small room fail to find a door leading to another room for over an hour… I’ll leave you to spot the rest.
2.5 out of 10 – SPOILER ALERT – Cryptic is energetic but it squanders any good will by being a cheap skate in all areas. Even the big draw is a flop. It must be the first vampire movie ever to not be a vampire movie.
Second review by Matt ‘Fangs’ Usher below
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Ed Stoppard: Youth (2016), Ruby – The Young Witch, Blackwood, Cilla (TV), Papadopoulos and Sons, Upstairs Downstairs (TV), Nanny McPhee 2, Joy Division, Bridehead Revisited (2008), The Pianist, The Little Vampire
- Ray Panthaki: One Crazy Thing, Convenience, World War Dead, Jadoo, The Man Inside (2012), It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Interview With a Hitman, Screwed (2011), City Rats, Kidulthood, 28 Days Later, Ali G Inda House, Eastenders (TV)
- Daniel Feuerriegel: Spartacus (TV), Home & Away (TV)
- Philip Barantini: Genesis, World War Dead, Hard Boiled Sweets, Ned Kelly (2003), Band of Brothers (TV)
- Ben Shafik: Genesis, World War Dead
- Jerry Anderson: Bonded By Blood 2, Blood Feud, A Hitman In London, Full English Breakfast
- Vas Blackwood: Rancour, The Comedian’s Guide To Survival, We Still Steal The Old Way, The Guvnors, Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3, Essex Boys Retribution, It’s a Lot, White Collar Hooligan 2, Offender, Mercenaries, Creep, Rollin With The Nines, Mean Machine, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Lenny Henry Show (TV)
- Robert Glenister: Law & Order UK (TV), Hustle (TV), Spooks (TV), Creation, A Touch of Frost (TV), Persuasion, The Secret Rapture, Soldier Soldier (TV), Chancer (TV), Dr Who (TV)