Director: Alexandre Aja
Release Date: August 2019
After so many bad horror flicks featuring humans fighting against a creature to survive, I was becoming resigned to the fact that this sub-genre was destined to be dominated by straight-to-DVD b-movies while the cinematic horror or thriller released were mostly going to be about demons, ghosts or masked men, so when I watched the trailer for Crawl, it looks as though we were finally going to get a half-decent creature-feature film rather than the parade of silly cliched movies filled with bad CGI and for the most part I was correct.
The first thing to note is that Crawl is more of a thriller than a horror film, with the people going in expecting something closer in tone to Annabelle Comes Home or even Alien possibly feeling a little disappointed, instead if you go in expecting a survival-thriller closer to Twister meets Hard Rain but with alligators, with a couple of jump-scares along the way.
I love films that place you on suspenseful, and claustrophobic environments with a straightforward plot and set in a realistic location, this is something that Crawl attempts and for the most part, succeeds.
Obviously, the effects and overall production design aren’t mind-blowing, with a few scenes in which the CGI backgrounds are obvious. with the big bucks being poured into the alligators which look pretty real and as they are the focal point I can see why they went down that route while having a higher rating helps the film to deliver more gruesome alligator attacks with more blood and gore than I was expecting, Some of and the injuries the characters have inflicted upon them are pretty gnarly and disgusting, to say the least, and this was a pleasant surprise, I just wish they hadn’t given so many of these away in the trailer.
Just ask the crew behind Heavy Rain or even Waterworld, filming in water can be extremely difficult to perfect, made even more so when coupled up with confined spaces. luckily, Aja and his crew managed to produce a film in which nothing seems unrealistic and the film flows organically.
Kaya Scodelario delivers another great performance and developed some wonderful chemistry with her on-screen father Barry Pepper. Both characters are given just enough development for you to care, though I wouldn’t say the script is the most imaginative when it comes to their backstories and the fact that she is a swimmer seems a little convenient. But Crawl is one of those films where I can forgive minor issue with the overall movie is a good one. This isn’t The Meg, where the whole film feels unrealistic from start to finish or Deep Blue Sea where suspending disbelief is required. here you have a situation that could happen and characters that don’t come across as minor superheroes.
If you liked: Anaconda, Crawl Bitch Crawl, Rampage