Crawl is the latest creature feature to snap onto our big screens. It follows a young woman who goes in search for her father when a hurricane is hitting, only to find themselves trapped in the crawlspace underneath their family home, where alligators are hunting.
There will be spoilers from now on, this is your warning.
Up 1: The Environment
Crawl is set in the crawlspace under a house. The structure means there are safe spots that the alligators can’t get to, but none of these locations allow you to get out by using the stairs. To add to everything going on the floodwaters are rising, which will only make the escape a race against time, with the more water involved, the greater advantage the alligators will have. Crawl uses every aspect of the environment to add tension to the film.
Down 1: Alligators in Florida
Crawl has the family living near the territory of alligators in Florida, which should automatically make the people living their aware of this threat, only the people in this film just don’t seem to know the alligators live in water. This isn’t just the family, and you can let off the stupid thieves; it is the police authorities that are boating around looking for rescues that seem completely clueless. It might just be me, but surely if you live in that area, you would be aware of their danger.
Up 2: The Fights
When it comes to the alligator attacks, they are brutal, and they show just how deadly the animals are, which we get to see this from the grabs, throws, and chases to escape. When the alligator bites in the fight to survive shows how panicked the attack is, but how calm the victims are when they fight back, using whatever they can get their hands on, be it a spade, screwdriver or gun. When it comes to the disposable supporting characters, they don’t stand a chance because of their own panic.
Down 2: The Trailer
When it comes to trailers, I tend to complain just how much is put in them that doesn’t need to be there. I praised A Quiet Place for not giving anything away; Crawl gives away nearly every single alligator scene, be it cops getting attacked, the full sequence of the attack is in the trailer, which when you watch the film takes all of the tension that gets built up for that scene in the basement door away. Just give us the first attack on Haley if you want to give us an attack; it gives us the shock and puts us in the position, so we know what we are going to be facing for the whole film.
Up 3: The Gore
Crawl is made by director Alexandra Aja who is a director that isn’t afraid to show us strong bodily injury; just look at High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D if you want to see what he can do. Here he might hold back at times, with one scene where Dave (Barry Pepper) must put his leg in a splint during which you could easily need to turn away from the screen, let alone the scene where he gets his arm ripped off. While Haley doesn’t suffer as many graphic injuries, during the ones she does you can hear skin ripping.
Down 3: Decision Making
Crawl might well be a truly entertaining creature feature, but it is filled with a couple of moments of frustration when it comes decision making. The first being when Haley has been attacked and wants to get to her phone, we have a great scene with her trying to get her phone, only when she gets it, she doesn’t think about getting to safety, she stays in the middle of the alligator (at the time, she only thinks there is one) area and dials, instead of getting back to the safety area. This isn’t the only time she does this either, because later again she decides to call for help, while in an unsafe location.
Darren starting writing for films at Movies Reviews 101. He joined the Ready Steady Cut team in 2018 and is a proud member of the LAMB (Large Association of movie bloggers).