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Film Review: Crawl (2019)

Crawl (2019) is a horror flick that feels heavily inspired by the old summer horror flicks from the likes of Jaws. Directed by Alexandre Aja, this film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper as a father and daughter duo who are stuck in the bottom of the house, in which a Category 5 hurricane is currently in progress. Alongside that, alligators come down to their house and are ready to cause mayhem.

One of the things that majorly surprised me with this film is the CGI, particularly with the alligators. A film like Crawl is a small budget film, so I was highly impressed with how real the hurricane, floods and the alligators looked. I completely bought the situation thanks to how realistic it looked, and the kills were excellently executed by the alligators. The POV shots of some of the kills reminded me a lot of the kills in Jaws, but with better execution thanks to the technology of today.

The writing in this film, done by Shawn and Michael Rasmussen, is so cleverly done. This film clocks in at 87 minutes, which is the perfect length for a film like this. The film starts off with exposition which is vital to the story, and the characters are well rounded. I loved the family aspect of the story, as it added heart to what could have be a shallow, heartless flick. This film also takes place in one location for the majority of the film, yet they manage to make it interesting by adding new levels to the house and finding new places to discover. The writing is also clever to avoid certain tropes, and also to explain some simple solutions such as using a mobile phone to be rescued.

This film doesn’t try to be a serious drama, and that is what I love about this film. It knows that it is a B movie. It knows that the main reason that people are coming to this film is to see some cool alligator shots and some fun horror moments, which is exactly what this films offers. The action is well choreographed, there are some great jump scares involved and this is a great time at the cinema.

The acting throughout the film is absolutely superb. Holding the screen time for most of the film by themselves, Scodelario and Pepper are convincing in the action and give great, dramatic performances. What works with their performances is not only the horror moments, but also the quieter moments between them. You buy their relationship as a father and daughter, and it is that chemistry that helps you cheer them on throughout their struggles in the film.

I did have some small complaints about this film, and that mainly comes down to the third act. To me, it felt like the movie actually finished one hour into the film, and the last third ended up just writing an extra disaster moment just to lengthen the time to a feature film. It just started to feel a little bit too repetitive, but I accepted it because it was still a lot of fun and the tension still stuck around for a bit.

This is the exact sort of horror film that I needed at a time like this. This is a fun flick that I wished ended up being released in June in the UK, because it is the fun summer flick that would have done good business. This is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am excited to go and see this film again when it’s officially released at the end of August.


Did you get a chance to check out Crawl? Are you now excited to see it if you haven’t had a chance to? Let me know down below in the comments and let’s have a conversation.

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