Title – Crawl (2019)
Director – Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes)
Cast – Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson
Plot – In the midst of a Florida hurricane, Haley (Scodelario) and her estranged father Dave (Pepper) find themselves trapped underneath their family home with a collection of bloodthirsty alligators stalking their every move.
“If you get stuck out there, no help will be coming”
Review by Eddie on 31/10/2019
For a film about killer alligators stalking a daughter and her dad in the midst of a category 5 hurricane that’s hit the state of Florida, Crawl unfortunately takes itself far too seriously to be outright enjoyable, even if there are moments throughout Alexandre Aja’s creature feature that show glimmers of what could’ve been.
Becoming a somewhat surprising mid-level box office success earlier this year, earning close to $100 million worldwide of a small-scale budget of $13.5 million, this Sam Raimi backed effort clearly found itself in a marketplace that was crying out for a popcorn munching creature filled horror/thriller but it’s a shame Aja and his creative team weren’t able to find that solid middle ground that’s found in similar over the top efforts such as The Deep Blue Sea or Arachnophobia.
From the moment we’re introduced to Kaya Scodelario’s driven swimmer Haley and join her on her quest to check up on her gruff single-father Dave (played by method man Barry Pepper) in the middle of the hurricane hitting their home town, we start to become aware that Crawl is taking matters very seriously, even if its very concept, poorly done special effects and daft character decisions suggest it’s a film that really should just be having an over the top ride with its crazy concept.
Aja is a talented director but his rather restrained here and while Scodelario and Pepper are also talented in their own rights, they don’t get to unleash any B-movie goodness here as their held back by a large collection of deep and meaningful life musings as they attempt to escape the confounds of their alligator patrolled basement, ensuring that we as an audience suffer from a lack of fun and energy that should’ve been priority number one.
The other big roadblock placed right in front of us viewers (should we care to look) is that the supposed inescapable surrounds Haley and Dave have found themselves in are surrounded by rain soaked and totally movable bricks, that would’ve taken mere minutes to smash through with the ample tools they have been provided within the basement surrounds.
For films like Crawl, it’s good to switch your brain off and just forgive and forget but Aja constantly frames our survivors in places that just mere millimetres away scream “escape here” and with our characters not even once attempting to escape in any other way bar past blood thirsty alligators, things go off the rails quickly in the suspension of disbelief stakes.
It’s a shame Crawl didn’t look to just embrace its more out-there narrative and alligator infested carnage more so, as while there are still things to like here, at the end of the day Crawl fails to satisfy audiences thirst for another truly fun and energetic bout of creature feature chaos.
Final Say –
A disappointing outcome for a film that had the chance to grab hold of its silliness and make a fun time out of it, Crawl is too po-faced to be recommendable even if it offers a few glimpses of a much better film.
2 electrical cables out of 5