A group of addicts find themselves trapped by both a gang of thugs and something far worse in this horror gem from J. Horton.

At a rural bar in a small town, a group of people having a good time and getting along with the bartenders, led by owner Les. However, when gunshots are heard outside, they learn that a group of heroin addicts, led by Frenzy, have infiltrated the bar. Frenzy and her crew are corroborating with a local group waiting outside as they are led by Hunter. Hunter’s group announces that there is someone in the bar they are looking for and they want to expose that patron.

Tensions begin to rise between the patrons, the bartenders, and Frenzy’s gang within the bar. As the withdrawals within Frenzy’s group begins to take effect, tensions begin to even affect the gang from within. However, there is a secret one of the patrons is holding, which is why Hunter’s gang is after them. Who is the patron and what’s the dark secret they are holding? When the moon is set, that secret is destined to be revealed.

You have to hand it to writers Gregory Blair and J. Horton, who have come up with a horror film full of twists and flashbacks that will engage the viewer and have them play connect the dots as it goes on. Set in and around a small rural bar on the outskirts of some small town, we get to see the ensemble cast make the most of the environment for a good portion of the film. Sure, it feels like a bit of a slow burn, but in this case, it helps as the film feels like a mystery that will later progress into horror in an insane third act.

The cast is really great here. The iconic Felissa Rose makes the most of her screen time as bar owner Les but some of the highlight performances go out to Ashley Undercuffler as heroin addict Frenzy, Xavier Roe as the innocent Will, and Holly Rockwell’s Gail, who is Will’s mother. Undercuffler’s Frenzy may be a bit over the top at times, but one must remember the character is a heroin addict who slowly is going through withdrawals and thus, brings to mind a realistic sense of what it can be like for someone to be going through that.

With the exception of Al Gomez’s Hunter, the group waiting outside the bar are nothing more than he stereotypical redneck goon types who just want to bust in, but soon they learn something is dying to bust out and this is where the third act starts. With that secret from one such patron who becomes a creature, but not a werewolf. It is more of an alien-like monster that brings to mind films like The Beast Within and Xtro as it starts to rip its way towards the people in the bar with some shocking twists mixed in, including an insane mid-credit scene.

Craving has a great double meaning to its title, as it pertains to drug addicts needing to “crave” from withdrawals as well as the monster needing to “crave” from its victims. A great mystery turned horror gem that needs to be seen and hopefully loved by all horror fans.

WFG RATING: A-

Indie Rights Movies presents a 50 Caliber Productions film in association with Bronx Bridge Entertainment and Sky Island Storytelling. Director: J. Horton. Producers: Robert Bravo, Kevin Caliber, Sean A. Reid, and Ashley Undercuffler. Writers: Gregory Blair and J. Horton. Cinematography: Sophia Cacciola. Editing: J. Horton.

Cast: Felissa Rose, Al Gomez, Holly Rockwell, Kevin Caliber, Ashley Undercuffler, Xavier Roe, Likun Jing, Rachel Amanda Bryant, Toya Morman, Gregory Blair, Frankie Guzman, Miranda Bourke, Scott Alan Ward, Greg Tally.