I had seen and enjoyed The Crush before viewing Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray release of the film, but this movie was released in 1993, which is three years before I graduated high school. This means that I was around 14 years old, which is the same age as Alicia Silverstone’s character in the movie. I’m going to assume that because of this, a lot of the creep factor was lost on me. That I know of, I haven’t seen it since it hit home video, so this would be my first time viewing it as an adult. And wow, does that age difference matter. The first time I saw it, I just liked it. It was a well made movie, I liked the actors, and the story was engaging. However, as a 38-year-old man, I found myself screaming at the TV. “No! Don’t walk down there and talk to her! What’s wrong with you!” and such were common directives yelled through time and space at Cary Elwes as he got a little too comfortable with a teenage girl.
In fact, watching this movie as an adult, I found it a little more difficult to sympathize with Elwes character. Yeah, he didn’t sleep with the girl, but he still got himself into a situation where anyone could see what would come next. I know everybody thinks they’re the hottest thing on the planet, and oh, so interesting, but if you’re pushing 30 and a sexy teenage girl is paying a little too much attention to you, you gotta fight through the flattery you feel and put a great big glowing neon stop to that shit. Look her up on Facebook in four years if you have to, but for fuck’s sake, don’t give an obsessed teenage girl any fuel she can use against you when you piss her off, both because it’s wrong and rapey, and because you’re goddamn right she’s going to. I realize that she kissed him, and that he quickly put a stop to it, but really? He didn’t linger just a little too long, talk to her just a little too softly, and act as if he was way more interested in what she had to say than he actually was? He didn’t stop what he was doing and go out of his way to put himself in the position to be flirting around with her? Don’t do that shit, homie.
So, needless to say, this viewing of The Crush was far more unnerving than my original experience. It’s not that I myself have these feelings towards teenage girls, but I know what it feels like to be flirting with disaster. As a married man, when a pretty girl gives you an extra bit of attention, it sets your brain on fire, causes you to have thoughts that you wouldn’t normally have, and makes you start weighing the pros and cons of, well, you know. I’ve made some stupid decisions in my life, a lot of which involving women. And no, none of them involved underage girls, but it’s a subject that hits somewhat close to home with me, ignoring that part of the equation. The fact that the girl is only 14 had me squirming in my seat even more, with each extra glance he gave her. Cary Elwes is not one of my favorite actors. His overacting in the first Saw movie turned me off the first time I viewed that film, but he does a really good job at playing the young writer, sticking his nose — and perhaps hoping to stick other things — in places it doesn’t belong.
This wasn’t Alicia Silverstone’s first role, nor was it the first thing to raise the public’s collective eyebrow in her general too-sexy-for-her-age direction. Prior to this movie, Silverstone appeared in the Aerosmith video Cryin’, and there’s no question that that video was the point that she secured a spot on the radars of all men with a beating heart, despite being too young for most of them. The Crush sealed the deal though, and she remained hot shit for quite a while after this film. It’s those eyes, and that pouty face. I know she didn’t invent the hot-pouty expression, but goddamn if she didn’t perfect it. The girl is two years older than me, so I don’t feel too bad telling you how attractive I think she is, but given the subject of the movie, and the age she was when it was filming, it’s still a somewhat uneasy subject to tackle. In any event, her performance in this movie is just pitch perfect. Not only is she gorgeous, but I can’t imagine any other actor in this role. Her sly aloofness totally sold the goody-goody side of her character, but when it came time to be evil, she did that just as well.
Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray release of the film is more than acceptable. On the video front, it looks about as good as any comparable movie from the same timeframe would or could. On the audio front, there are some minor issues, there is even a disclaimer before the movie starts. It’s not all that noticeable unless you’re watching for it, but there are some slight irregularities from time to time. But, this is the best audio element available, apparently. At least known available. It’s not a deal breaker, and most of you won’t even be able to pick up on it, so it’s all good. The extras are a little fewer and further between than I’d like, but we get a couple of interviews, including one with Kurtwood Smith, so you’re getting more than you would if the film had been distributed by the studio which owns the rights directly. Overall, if you’re a fan of this film, then Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release is a welcome upgrade, and totally worth the twenty bucks.