Crawl (2019)

Director: Alexandre Aja
Writer: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson, Jose Palma, George Somner, Anson Boon, Ami Metcalf
Seen on: 3.9.2019

Haley (Kaya Scodelario) is worried about her father Dave (Barry Pepper). A hurricane is closing in on his area, and he isn’t picking up his phone. Against warnings, Haley decides to drive to his house, only to find him injured in the basement, or rather the crawl space beneath his house – just as the hurricane strikes. As the crawl space starts flooding, the hurricane doesn’t just bring water, but also alligators who start hunting Haley and Dave.

Well. I was willing to go along with Crawl and it’s frankly a little ridiculous premise. But it just didn’t want to take me with it. There was just too much nonsense and not enough scariness.

The film poster showing Haley (Kaya Scodelario) balancing on an overturned boat that is floating in a flooded living room. In the water is a huge alligator.

Really, I was not expecting a realistic portrayal of events here, but I would have liked a few decisions by the characters that actually made sense. But they constantly do shit like risking a trip to the “danger zone” to get a phone with which they could call for help. But instead of getting back to safety to make that call, they immediately start dialing while still in the danger zone.

And that’s not even mentioning Haley’s (and Dave’s, to a lesser extent) superhuman indestructibility. Really, it’s like she’s made from titanium or something. Definitely not human flesh, though. I am willing to suspend disbelief, but this only goes so far.

On a different, but also annoying note: it would be nice if we got a female (action) protagonist without daddy issues every once in a while.

Haley (Kaya Scodelario)  crossing on the countertops through a flooded kitchen.

Apart from that, the film just wasn’t particularly scary (maybe I was too busy shaking my head over the characters to become properly scared), and that is always a problem with a horror film. But I will say that alligators looked damn fantastic, nothing like CGI. I don’t know how much they shot with real animals or even puppets, and how much was CGI, but the end result is impressively realistic. Definitely the best part of the film.

But apart from that, I found it rather boring – and that really is the death sentence for a (horror) film, nothing more to be done about it.

Haley (Kaya Scodelario) wiping her hurt father Dave's (Barry Pepper) face in the basement.

Summarizing: disappointing.

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