Our patrons voted for this week’s movie review, and they selected Crawl. This was a movie we let slip by us when it was in theaters. However, now we know, you don’t just slip by gators, they will look for you, they will find you, and they will kill you.
Crawl can is available for rent or purchase on your favorite video platform.
The movie follows Floridian Haley (Kaya Scodelario), a competitive swimmer that goes to check on her father before a category 5 hurricane hits. She discovers that her father Dave (Barry Pepper) is in the CRAWL space below his house with a broken leg from an alligator attack. She finds out quickly that there are not one, but two hyper-aggressive gators that will stop at nothing to kill them both. What proceeds is a game of gator and mouse where they try to escape the gators in a labyrinthian and increasingly flooded crawlspace.
This movie has a simple set up and delivers exactly what you would want out of it: ridiculous gator action.
Before coming to Dave’s crawlspace, these gators must have stopped by Tony Montana’s and consumed the mountain of coke on his desk. These gators are ridiculously aggressive.
The two main characters are constantly in danger, but are protected by the most powerful substance known to man… plot armor. So for an hour and a half, as we watch them try to outsmart the gators to accomplish the impossible task of… you know crawl a couple feet to the stairs, we are introduced to a steady stream of possible saviors who are immediately attacked and torn apart by ravenous gators.
I’ve said it before. I’m not a huge fan of monster movies. But I can appreciate the ones that are done well. This is one of those.
The situation is creative, the pacing of the plot is great. Even the tension is high throughout the movie because of the rising water. It really is a great device to move the plot forward. There is also a decent amount of character development between Haley and her father.
If all that bores you and you are only coming for alligator attacks, you will not be disappointed. Everything from just plain gator bites to being completely drawn and quartered by a congregation of gators is covered.
Overall it’s a really well written and executed creature feature that maintains tension, has the proper amount of ridiculous action, and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Score for Crawl
Expand for spoilers
The CGI is really good in this movie. The alligators looked very real. The only thing that would tip you off that they are CGI alligators is that there are certain lunges and movements that a real gator couldn’t pull off in real life. However, these moments are used to great effect, since there is a shocking and creepy factor that comes with them.
Water Induced Tension
The water rising as a tension building device is fantastic. It almost acts as a meter for their peril. As the movie goes on, the rate of the water rising increases. By the half point of the film, the crawlspace is about halfway filled with water. As the film speeds towards it’s conclusion, the levee breaks, and all of a sudden, the water reaches the second floor in minutes.
I don’t expect much from Character development, but this movie checks enough boxes for me to say that it has a decent amount. The relationships within the film feel real, and the audience is allowed to establish empathy with the characters. Which, in turn, gets the audience to actually care whether or not they get eaten. Last weeks film, Underwater, failed in this regard.
Alligators bite people. What more do you want?
There isn’t a lot to complain about with this film. The only minor complaint is that it suffers from the “bitch-get-out-tha-house” syndrome. This is where the protagonists fail to make very simple and obvious decisions that will get them to safety. This is a common trope in horror movies, and is really a foundational element in a lot of ways. So overall, there isn’t much to dislike about Crawl.