I've read several reviews here and on Letterboxd that rate this film as a 1 star film, trash it as a poorly made movie, and claim that it's impossible to get through. Those writing these reviews are clearly not fans of low budget fare or think low budget film finances all look like similar to the budgets of Blumhouse. This is not a perfect film; however, when gauged against films with similar budgetary constraints, it is clearly a pretty strong entry.
The film, first and foremost, is made well from a technical standpoint. It's mostly well shot, well edited, and well constructed. Moreover, on a shoestring budget, it's also a good looking film. I've noted in other reviews that one of the biggest issues I see in low to no budget film is in how the film physically looks. In the case of even some of the low budget genre greats out there, this can be a struggle. Yet, in this one, it's not an issue. The look of the film isn't necessarily always top notch, but it's never distracting. In fact, it's usually pretty close to looking genuinely great, with only brief moments where poor lighting or similar types of issues cause the film's look to suffer. Again, though, it's never distracting, which is more than can be said about most films in this cost range.
The story is compelling and the heroes are easy to root for. They are human, imperfect and real. They are the focus of this film. Focusing the story on real people allows the film to waste less of its small budget on effects, but the effects that are created in this one are pretty effective, including creature design. Limiting the need for too much on screen violence and other special effects helps stretch a budget, as well. Sometimes these decisions are strictly about money and others are about aesthetics. The trick is making the decision looks as if it's always an aesthetic one, rather than one a filmmaker is forced into. This film does a good job with that.
The greatest criticism here is that despite solid editing work overall, the editor and other filmmakers neglected to utilize one primary function of an editor effectively: chopping out some of the excess fat. At nearly 2 hours long, the film is about 20-30 minutes longer than it needs to be. Chopping some scenes down and a few other out altogether would have strengthened the overall product a good bit. However, even at the current length, the film still stand out as a strong example of low budget genre work.
The long and the short of it is that this is a solid low budget film. Fans of big budget blockbusters without an open mind need not apply, but those of us who like to see filmmakers who do it for the love and not the money will find something worthwhile in this one.