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"Crawl" Movie Review

Updated on December 17, 2021
Alec Zander profile image

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

There have been a ton of horror movies that featured killer crocs or alligators, but only a handful of them were as smart as Crawl, the new addition to the list. Crawl did a lot of things right, but of course there were a few things that could have been better. Potential spoiler warning, just in case something unintentionally slips. It's really hard to review a film like this without divulging some kind of information, but I'll do my best not to.

The film follows Haley, a swimming champion who has gone through some personal issues as of late. She's on the verge of losing her scholarship. After a swim meet, she gets a call from her sister Beth who is concerned for their father, who has disappeared in the middle of a Category 5 hurricane. Haley decides to brave the storm, reaching her old childhood home to see if she can find him. What she discovers is her father, unconscious in the basement, surrounded by two enormous alligators. Can she rescue him? Or will they both become gator chow?

All right, let's go ahead and get the few negatives out of the way. First off, while the alligator effects were far superior to Lake Placid vs Anaconda, they could still use a bit of work. There were a couple moments where the gators looked a little fake, but it wasn't often thankfully. Second, there were a couple 'duh' moments where the characters contradicted themselves in silly ways, but once again, that only happened a couple times. Third, our heroes are injured in multiple various ways but after a while, it's like those injuries didn't hurt anymore. Maybe salt water helps wounds, but I doubt they'd take the pain away completely. Finally, the film left the door open for a possible sequel, but that plot point was never expanded upon and the film ended too suddenly.

Okay, now that that's done, let's look at all the parts of the film that were great. Haley was always thinking ahead. She wasn't a helpless bimbo like you see in most horror films, but was rather smart and always figuring out a solution to each problem. Second, the film was straight to the point. There was a perfect build up, no side-story stalling or any unnecessary filler moments. The Rasmussen Brothers did their best to plan out each step of the film all the while keeping it realistic and thrilling. Third, Kaya Scodelario's acting was right on point. The fear and the emotional moments felt genuine and real. Finally, major applause to director Alexandre Aja. 90% of the film took place in the crawlspace of Haley's home. Alexandre was able to keep the tension high and never allowed the audience to get bored. In fact, anyone with claustrophobia should be warned that this film will be very intense for you. Think Buried, only with alligators and flooding.

In conclusion, if you've been waiting for a smart monster movie then this is for you. It's unnerving, tense, and will keep you on edge until the final moments. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

© 2019 Nathan Jasper


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