Movie Review: Crawl (2019)

From horror legend Alexandre Aja (director of the French Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes and Maniac, to name but a few) comes the 2019 action/horror/monster movie, Crawl. As a category 5 hurricane is set to smash Florida, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) travels to find her father, Dave (Barry Pepper) who is not responding to her calls. Upon finding him and his dog, the two become trapped in the crawl space under his house by a large alligator, and with the hurricane causing water levels to rise, the prospects of rescue are looking slim.

+ both Scodelario and Pepper are great, and the two play off each other nicely. I know Scodelario from The Maze Runner series and the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film, and this is another strong showing from her
+ the environment of the under-house space is tight, dark and claustrophobic, which create a real sense of tension every time the characters are required to move anywhere. This often leads to lots of real scares, or at least a pulse pounding escape sequence (or not…). As someone who is not fond of being underwater, this adds another layer of fear to the proceedings
+ I was glad this movie was played entirely straight, too, and treated as the scare-fest it would certainly be. The gators themselves should be a real threat, and I am glad to say that for the most part they are shown to be as well

It’s almost like a baby Godzilla movie, or a quadrupedal T-Rex from Jurassic Park.

– I can’t say I know much (note: anything at all) about fighting with alligators, but I can’t help but think that in a life or death situation you could just hit them with something, or jam something in their mouths? I just feel like they were constantly wiggling around in front of the monsters without even attempting to kick or hit them

> It’s an easy thing to do, adding a pet into these sorts of movies automatically puts me on the edge of my seat. If anything happens to that dog, I swear…

Should you see this film: I really enjoyed this. The crawl space was an effective location for this very simple but well done premise, and I genuinely felt tension for every character when they would put themselves in danger. At a slick 90 minutes, this was a breeze to get through, and well worth your time.


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