In the world of cinema, horror movies have a unique ability to turn any seemingly ordinary event into something scary.
This is what makes horror movies so versatile since what might be something that happens in the world can be turned into your worst nightmare. This is where the strength of Crawl lies as it turns two seemingly ordinary things–a storm and alligators–into a fight for survival for a daughter and father. Crawl doesn’t rely on the paranormal or a demon to haunt its characters, but real experiences (the movie was inspired by real events that happened in Florida) which help Crawl become one of the most intense horror movies of the year.
The story follows Haley (Kaya Scodelario), a talented swimmer who ignores evacuation orders during a massive hurricane in her Florida hometown to search for her missing father (Barry Pepper). Haley finds him gravely injured in the crawl space of their family home but the two become trapped by quickly encroaching floodwaters. Haley and her father discover that they aren’t alone in the crawl space as hungry alligators are among them as well. They then must work together to escape the strengthening storm and the alligators.
With the pedigree of talent behind the movie such as the film’s director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) and produced by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead), Crawl is so much more than a B-list creature feature.
It goes above and beyond to offer one of the most intense movie experiences of the year. The film is very tense as Haley and her dad try to outwit the alligators. There will be quite a few scenes that leave the viewer on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. Alexandre Aja manages to use a limited set of a crawl space and a house very well as there was a lot of creativity into making the place feel complex. Every turn around the corner and every new room is filled with tension as you aren’t sure what’s going to be around the corner.
Not only do the main characters have to deal with rising floodwaters, but they also have to deal with alligators who very much want to eat them, and the film constantly reminds the viewer of it. The alligators are no pushovers and they give Haley and her dad a hard time. These aren’t the regular alligators that can be found in the zoo, these are bloodthirsty creatures who hunt and kill people. This film isn’t for the faint of heart as it is both tense and bloody. The alligators are obviously CGI but that doesn’t make the carnage and injuries less realistic.
Another thing that shines from this film are the main characters.
Haley and her dad know how to defend themselves and they spend most of the movie using their talents, Haley’s swimming and her dad’s mechanical skills, to survive and find safety. They are not invincible, but they won’t go down without a fight. The film also manages to blend the duo’s relationship well with the action. Haley and her dad don’t have the best relationship and throughout the film and the audience gets to see them fix the issues they have with each other. This sub-plot gives them depth and character but isn’t focused too much to overshadow the tense nature of the film.
Crawl’s plot may sound weird, but the film manages to make it work. The movie has no right to be as good as it is, yet Crawl is a refreshing take on the creature-themed horror that refines the formula. At just a run time of 87 minutes, Crawl is a tight and efficient thriller that is well-directed. The film manages to turn an alligator attack in a flooding house into a scary movie that delivers on thrills.
While not groundbreaking in any way, Crawl uses what it has to full effect. With a great cast, tense action, and scary thrills, Crawl is a water-themed nightmare that will both satisfy and scare audiences. Just in time for the rainy season, catch Crawl in theaters and experience this nail-biter of a movie.
Crawl hits Philippine theaters this August 7. Share this post if you plan to watch it!