Director – Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes)
Starring – Kaya Scodelario (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Maze Runner), Barry Pepper (Battlefield Earth, Saving Private Ryan), and Morfydd Clark (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Outsiders)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “If the storm doesn’t get you…they will”
Some directors hit with a bang and then fizzle out over time. They are never consistent with their films and fans are usually relentless when they release a new film. Directors like Eli Roth, Rob Zombie, and so on have hardcore fans and people that dedicate so much of their time hating them. Another name that gets tossed around is Alexandre Aja.
Aja made a splash in the horror community when he released his film High Tension. He then drew fire for his remakes of The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors, and Piranha. Personally, I haven’t seen a film of his I did not like but these films have split the horror community in two. When I saw that he was working on his newest film Crawl I was extremely excited to check it out. I was unable to check it out in theaters but as soon as I caught wind of a physical release I had to see if I could get a copy for review.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Haley (Scodelario) who can’t reach her father during a hurricane. She disregards road closings and local officials and goes to his home where she finds him in the home’s crawlspace hurt. He was attacked by a gator and with the area flooding she finds them trapped in the basement while more and more alligators hunt around the home. The rushes to get him out the basement as the waters rise. With nowhere to go she must start fighting back or risk succumbing to the alligators.**Spoiler alert**
I honestly didn’t know what to think when I tossed this in but I do know that sitting through six shark flicks that originally aired on Sy-Fy would impact my enjoyment of this. I was sick of when animals attack horror flicks and was looking forward to some slasher or zombie carnage but then I remembered that the release date for this one is quickly approaching so I tossed it in. I’m glad I did because it is the film that all those shark and gator movies wish to be.
The acting in this one is decent for the most part but the film’s only focus is on the two characters so the acting is mostly focused around these two interacting to the situation and not one another. They do a solid job but in a few days no one will remember their characters.
The story for this one is simple but it actually works. I really liked the claustrophobic tension we get with the two trapped in the house as the water rises. I loved the suspense and how the film didn’t over do it with the alligators. There was just enough to make the film fun but not enough to make it too goofy.
Finally, we get some great practical effects, plenty of blood, and some mediocre CGI. The gators look goofy at times and at others they look fairly decent. Overall, Crawl is exactly what you think it is. This is the theatrical animals attacking people film that we wish Sy-Fy would have made. Check it out because you will not be disappointed.