Mother Nature can be devastating, but when the creatures arrive your problems are just beginning. Crawl is the newest horror film from French Director Alexandre Aja (best known for Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D) and is produced by Sam Raimi and written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen (The Inhabitants). The plot is fairly simple and, like Aja’s previous films, you can expect a good amount of bloody violence, albeit quite ridiculous to say the least. Nonetheless, this is a thoroughly entertaining summer monster flick.
The movie takes place in Florida, where a Category 5 hurricane is heading towards its residents. People are fleeing trying desperately to escape the wrath of Mother Nature while Haley (Kaya Scodelario) is busy at a swim meet for her school. Pretty odd to be swimming in a pool when the storm is starting to rage outside, but this exists to show the audience that Haley is a good swimmer and can probably hold her weight against those feisty alligators that she’ll encounter later. She then receives a call from her sister, who urges Haley to find about their dad Dave (Berry Pepper), who’s not answering his phone. He lives nearby and Haley thinks that either her dad has already left or is going to ride it out.
Haley and her father aren’t on speaking terms and when she eventually finds her father’s place, he’s injured inside. Now they are both trapped in a house that’s slowly being flooded while the alligators have settled in. Their eyes glow, they swim fast and don’t seem to have the powerful bite they are known for. Now, the movie doesn’t tell us what specific type of alligator these characters are dealing with but it’s known that alligators can deal out over two thousand PSI (pounds per square inch), also known as bite force. There are scenes aplenty that show Haley getting bitten, dragged and even swung by the alligator’s teeth and she walks away with some nasty looking injuries.
We can laugh at this because at least we know the movie is already ridiculous enough, to say the least. In reality, Haley would’ve lost limbs and died from exsanguination before being eaten by the gators. As said before, there are some bloody moments, so Aja sure hasn’t forgotten his horror fans. While it’s not as gruesome as Piranha 3D, it does deliver on the bloody carnage. Even at a brisk eight-seven minutes, Crawl does seem slow at times but I wasn’t complaining.
Director Alexandre Aja does a good job of creating tension and blending the natural disaster element with horror to bring a sort of realism to its story. Yes, the movie is silly but I still enjoyed its often slow pacing because the movie focuses on a daughter and father trying to survive a horrendous storm and the creatures who unexpectedly show up. Both main actors do good work with the script they’re given and even as a “creature feature” it’s handled quite well. It’s not as gruesome as Aja’s previous work but as a summer flick, it does the job.
Grade: 3 out of 5 Stars
Crawl is a B-Movie, pure and simple. The plot is very straight-forward and you know what to expect when you buy your ticket. As a “creature feature” it’s silly in terms of displaying reality, but nevertheless is an entertaining piece of horror. It’s not scary or even thrilling, but I enjoyed the fights between Haley and those pesky aggressive gators.
I enjoyed seeing Mother Nature stir up some trouble and the movie reminded me of both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Florence, in which alligators were seen during and after the storm made headlines. Crawl is a fun flick filled with bloody moments, and although it’s not as fun as Lake Placid, it wasn’t meant to be in the first place. Don’t go swimming when the storm hits because you never know what’s in the water with you!