I have moments, almost constantly, where I wonder if I have said something out loud…or just inside my head. Take this idea, amplify it, throw it into a psychological thriller, and Crave is what you get.
Aiden is a soft spoken crime scene photographer that has these types of moments. However, Aiden sometimes goes beyond blurting out a few words and ends up having full blown hallucinations. So, his range goes from yelling at an old lady in a supermarket (who keeps bumping him with her cart) to shooting up hoodlums on the train who are harassing a young woman. It is a nice set up for a film, especially when you add in his lust for a neighbor, who happens to have a verbally abusive boyfriend she needs to be saved from.
Afterall, Aiden wants to be a better person, simply, and step up when the situation calls for it. This is where Crave teeters between an epic mind scramble and a tragic love story. The path, for the entire 113 minutes, is never truly clear. The character does have moments where, after a hallucination – or what appears to be one, turns to the camera and speaks – letting the audience know if it was reality or not. Yet, along with this clarity there is much mayhem. The line is very much jumbled and we are left wondering if Aiden is just completely mad or not. There is never a full Fight Club-esque payoff.
This is more than likely the exact purpose of Crave. While it works for the most part, the fact that the film runs almost two hours long seems to keep it from reaching its fullest potential. Despite an intriguing plot of how normal people experience this type of psychosis on a regular basis, too many questionable, long winded moments kept Crave from being completely relatable to me, personally. In addition, characters like policeman Pete (Ron Perlman) and abusive boyfriend Ravi (Edward Furlong) struggle to find their footing within the story. Their characters do have a place within Aiden’s life – one being a mentor and the other an antagonist. But since the movie itself is fully set around Aiden and his actions, their characters lacked the beneficial screen time that could have made their ‘pivotal’ moments stand out.
Overall, Crave is a very well made film. Editing, sound, acting – all is sound, and even with the runtime and glitchy clarity, as a whole, the movie is different. With similarities to movies like Fight Club or that episode of X-Files where Mulder and Scully are having hallucinations as result of being devoured by that giant mushroom, Crave simply stands out. Even without a mind-blowing payoff, the trippy fantasy sequences are definitely something that fans of this genre should watch.