6.3/10 (25,534 votes)
82% (179 reviews)
40%

Crawl Movie Details

Directed by Alexandre Aja
Produced by
  • Craig J. Flores
  • Sam Raimi
  • Alexandre Aja
Written by
  • Michael Rasmussen
  • Shawn Rasmussen
Starring
  • Kaya Scodelario
  • Barry Pepper
Music by
  • Max Aruj
  • Steffen Thum
Cinematography Maxime Alexandre
Edited by Elliot Greenberg
Production company
  • Ghost House Pictures
  • Raimi Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • July 12, 2019
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13.5 million
Box office $89.1 million

 

I was lucky (and I’m not saying that ironically) enough to get to see Crawl at the end of July as a Cineworld Secret Screening. As expected there were a few walkouts, but for those of us who stayed, this was a surprisingly fun film.

Florida University student Haley (Kaya Scodelario), leaves swimming practice to the news that there’s a category 5 hurricane on the way. Struggling to get in contact with her father, Dave (Barry Pepper), she drives into the evacuated area to try to find him at his home. She discovers him trapped down in the basement with the water gradually rising. Haley tries to help him escape, but it turns out they’re not alone in the basement. That’s right, there’re also alligators down there blocking the exit.

So, there’s no hiding the fact that this is a silly movie. I had seen a trailer beforehand and so kinda knew what was the film was going to be. I think the closest comparison I could make is that it’s a bit like ‘Deep Blue Sea’, but with alligators instead of sharks.

Those who would seek to criticize the film could refer to some of the more unrealistic moments. For example, one of the main issues I had (which became laughably bad) was the fact that our protagonist should probably have died many times over; or at least lost some limbs.

There were also a number of conveniences, like people showing up or doing something just at the right time to allow something else to happen. In a film like this however, I think you just have to allow for these and accept the film for exactly what it is.

Unlike something like ‘Sharknado’ however, this film takes itself seriously. It knows that it’s a cheap monster movie, but it actually sets itself up as a genuinely tense survival thriller. I even jumped a couple of times. The race against time element of the rising water, coupled with the gory horror of the alligators, is somewhat formulaic, but it works.

What‘s required to elevate such a film above TV movie obscurity, in my opinion, is decent CGI and good performances. To my surprise, given the low budget, the alligators looked realistic enough, which was great. I also thought Scodelario and Pepper gave really good performances – Pepper especially. When you’re in a race against time perhaps that isn’t the best moment to have a heart to heart conversation, but nonetheless Pepper’s delivery of the script was impressive.

Something else I did not expect was the amount of humor there would be. Despite their lives being in danger for the vast majority of the film, there was quite a consistent amount of laughs. This was a pleasant surprise, just adding to the silliness of the whole experience. There’s even one final laugh reserved for the credits, which actually got the biggest laugh of the whole film and left the audience all smiling as they left the cinema. I’m smiling now just thinking about it.

It’s no classic, but if you fancy some old fashioned monster movie fun, you could do a lot worse than going to see Crawl.

 

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