If you have found yourself craving a horror movie and needing a break from the big-budget action movies of the summer, then this movie might be for you. I missed Crawl when it came out last night, but thanks mostly to Regal’s new Unlimited program, I was able to finally catch it. Directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D) and produced by Sam Raimi (Spider-man, Evil Dead), Crawl stars Kaya Scodelario as a young woman who ignores evacuation warnings during a Category 5 hurricane to look for her father (Barry Pepper). As the floodwaters close in, the pair become the prey of several large alligators who have managed to find their way into the basement of their family home.
Crawl clearly has a mission and that is to keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole 87-minute runtime. It succeeds in that mission and then some. The only thing more terrifying then the general premise are the massive alligators. After about 10 minutes of set up, the movie never really lets up. The scares are plentiful and it’s hard to top the intensity level it manages to maintain.
Kaya Scodelario really proves herself as a star here. She does a fantastic job of showing fear and pain (physical and emotional), which lets the audience relate and empathize with the character. The movie also does a great job of fitting a lot of backstory and information on her relationship with her father into a short time period, which adds to the emotional impact.
While the movie is at its best while inside the claustrophobic confines of the basement, it is at its worst when outside the house. That is when the movie’s budget shows. You can easily see the green screen effects for the hurricane and the whole thing feels like it’s on a soundstage. It took me out of the movie each time it left the house.
The movie is also incredibly violent, which isn’t necessarily a positive or negative, but should be noted. The movie doesn’t hesitate to show you the gory after-effects of a gator bite, and you can feel each one every time it happens. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
Overall, Crawl is a perfectly fine, schlocky horror movie. If you love lower budget creature features, this is probably up there with the best of them. It’s intense, scary, and violent and I personally had a good time with it. I don’t know that I’ll ever have the urge to watch it again, but it is worth seeing. If it’s still playing in theaters near you, I recommend checking out it or definitely catching it when it inevitably hit streaming services.
Crawl bites its way into a Positive ROP.
Ratings from low to high: Felony, Misdemeanor, 10-4, Positive ROP, Golden Donut