It’s no secret that the horrors of hardcore drug addiction often lead to disaster and death. This is an understatement in Jason Horton’s latest creature feature Craving. Unleashing a unique story about drugs keeping a brutal monster at bay makes Ewan McGregor’s heroin withdrawals in Trainspotting (1996) look like a walk in the park.
When a group of junkies overtake a rural bar for shelter against a group of mysterious perpetrators, the watering hole’s patrons find themselves trapped between two threats and a deadly secret. While Gail (Holly Rockwell) comforts Will (Xavier Roe) who’s going through obvious drug withdrawals, Hunter (Al Gomez) and his goons wait outside announcing to the tavern occupants that there is a monster among them — and the clock is ticking to turn him over.
Holly Rockwell as Gail
While the innocent bystanders search for a way out of this predicament, flashbacks shed light on events leading to this standoff. Attempting to juggle multiple backstories, Craving nearly takes on more than it can chew. With such a broad focus on so many characters, the audience isn’t given a chance to become very invested in the film’s leads and key character relationships seem to be rushed. However, that is not to say the cast lacks performance.
Indie horror fans will recognize award-winning actors Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp 1983), Rachel Amanda Bryant (The Campus 2018), and Gregory Blair (Garden Party Massacre 2017) who all hold nothing back. Giving equally notable performances include Rockwell, Roe, Kevin Caliber (Ugly Sweater Party 2018) as the muscle, Ashley Undercuffler as the sociopath, and Toya Morman as a deceitful druggy. Egos and attitudes go toe to toe as these characters clash inside the bar turned fortress while tension grows with every passing moment.
Although more could have been done with character and story development, the special fx team earn a huge shoutout with de-aging effects for flashbacks, a foreboding creature design, and enough blood and guts to fill a barroom. If you like your horror filled with ruthless kills and a bloodbath of an ending, you deserve to check out this small budgeted flick. Craving can now be seen on Amazon Prime.