CRAWL. (2019) DIRECTED BY ALEXANDRE AJA. WRITTEN BY MICHAEL RASMUSSEN AND SHAWN RASMUSSEN. CO-PRODUCED BY SAM ‘THE EVIL DEAD TRILOGY’ RAIMI.
STARRING KAYA SCODELARIO AND BARRY PEPPER.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Wow. Note to self. Never, ever go to Florida, for any reason. Florida has two things I can well do without in my life: Category 5 hurricanes and giant alligators. The movie CRAWL contains both these elements. It’s a film about a young woman called Hayley Keller, her injured father Dave and their adorable bow-wow, Sugar, who are all trapped in the crawl space of their house during a hurricane.
Thanks to the hurricane, their town’s levees have burst their banks and the town is flooded. Ergo, the crawl space in question is rapidly filling up with water. They might have known this would happen; their town is rather tellingly called ‘Coral Lake.’ Coral Lake, people? Lake equals water equals flooding in a hurricane equals, well, drowning.
What makes Hayley and Dave’s situation even worse- trust me, it can get worse- is the fact that their crawl space is also rather swiftly filling up with giant alligators, nature’s most amphibious predators.
I mean, sharks are scary but you’re not likely to meet one in the Walmart car-park, are you, whereas alligators… You see what I mean? Stay the hell out of the water and JAWS won’t get you. (Yes, I call the shark Jaws, lol; do your worst, JAWS purists!) But alligators are a double threat.
Things Hayley and Dave have going against them: the hurricane, the flooding, the giant alligators, Dave’s injury, the fact that the giant ‘gators have broken Hayley’s phone, the little blighters, and eaten the one person who might actually have helped/saved them. The peril/danger/tension has been ratcheted up to the highest level, pretty much.
Things in Hayley and Dave’s favour: Hayley is a superb swimmer, the ‘apex predator,’ whatever that is, of the school swim team. Also, Hayley is courageous to the max and as resourceful as MacGyver trapped in a pressure cooker with only a woman’s brassiere and a stick of gum about his person to help him find a way out of his predicament.
Hayley is gritty and determined. She’s going to get her old man out of the crawl space and away from the giant ‘gators if it costs her every limb on her body and, judging by the way the ‘gators are snapping and chomping on her like she’s the piece de resistance at the buffet table, it just might come to that.
Also, she and Daddy have been somewhat estranged since Daddy broke up with Mummy- it’s not really either of their faults; sometimes this shit just happens- and she’s not going to let him die before she’s had a chance to properly thrash out her unresolved feelings of guilt and anger towards him. Can she save both her father and their troubled relationship…?
The alligator action is superb and consistent. Unlike in JAWS, where you only catch glimpses of the shark before the grand finale, there’s no shortage of toothsome action, which I like.
CRAWL will deservedly take its place amongst other terrific croc-and-shark creature features such as ROGUE (2007), BLACK WATER (2007), 47 METERS DOWN (2017) and BAIT (2012), DINO CROC AND SUPER GATOR (2010), THE REEF (2010), OPEN WATER (2003) and OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT (2006).
The addition of dozey looters Marv, Stan and Lee (geddit???) is a nice touch and, of course, the movie is co-produced by Sam ‘EVIL DEAD’ Raimi. Kaya Scodelario is an excellent actress and she has no trouble at all carrying off her leading role with grit and panache.
It’s been suggested by some that the climate change element of the film is more troubling than the alligator storyline. Given what’s happening in Europe at the moment with the flash floods that have actually destroyed homes and taken lives, and the unaccustomed heat here in Dublin, Ireland that has me confined to the chaise-longue all day, one could well believe it. But, credit where credit’s due, the giant ‘gators steal the day.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books: