'Crawl' (2019) Review
Crawl is a 2019 disaster horror film directed by Alexandre Aja and written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen. It stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper. The film was produced by Sam Raimi through his studio Ghost House Pictures.
When a massive hurricane hits her Florida town, young Haley ignores the evacuation orders to search for her missing father, Dave. After finding him gravely injured in their family home, the two of them become trapped by the rapidly encroaching floodwaters. With the storm strengthening, Haley and Dave discover an even greater threat than the rising water level, a relentless attack from a pack of gigantic alligators.
Crawl was a film I had very mixed feelings going into. I thought it was going to be another bad and generic summer monster film. The film did have a few things going for it. One was director Alexandre Aja. He is a director I've come to really enjoy, especially when it comes to horror. The film's also produced by Sam Raimi, who's cemented his legacy in horror history, but going into a film like this, there's always going to be some doubt.
Every year, summer after summer, a film like this is made. A bad, cheap, and generic rip off of Jaws. However, there are a few diamonds in the rough, and much to my surprise, Crawl is one.
I was really surprised by how good this film was. There's certain things you have to get right in a monster flick like this, and this movie nailed everyone.
The suspense and tension in the film was top notch. I also thought the jumpscares were handled very well. They were all very well timed, and none of them felt forced. This film didn't beg for scares, but instead went out and earned them. The film also had a great sense of urgency for most of its runtime.
The character also surprised me. Usually in films like this, you don't get very good characters, and while these characters weren't great, they were good enough to root for and at least have some connection to them.
I also thought the pacing was great. It never really lets the characters breathe, and the tension was constantly building up. Even the more personal and emotional moments were kept short and sweet before the characters had to fight for survival once again.
This was a very well made film with excellent directing. Alexandre Aja did a great job helming the film, and he did not disappoint. It was a very well shot film that had solid cinematography and a great atmosphere. The hurricane was also beautiful.
This film was very serous, but it still knew exactly what it was.
A problem I can think of that didn't necessarily bother me, but I can see it bothering some people, was the fact that the film had numerous false endings. There were multiple times when the film could have ended, but then something else happens to the characters. Again, it didn't bother me, but I can see it annoying some people.
One thing I did notice after the film was over was the fact that they were in a basement in Florida. I'm not from Florida, but from what I've heard, there aren't many basements. In addition to that, the basement was full of holes that were used entirely as plot devices. I didn't necessarily think it was lazy or bad, but it is something you notice.
Overall, I thought this was a very well made summer monster flick. The film surprised me in more ways than one. They build real tension and earn real scares, which is something a lot of modern horror films don't do. In the end, I thought it was a very good film.
I thought the acting was solid. There was basically only two characters, and they both gave great performances.
Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper's main job was to sell the father and daughter relationship. I thought they did a great job; they had enough chemistry with one another that it came across as pretty natural. They also nailed the grittier moments.
I thought both the story and plot of the film were great and very well handled.
The film really didn't waste any time in setting the story in motion. We're instantly introduced to our main character and find out she's a swimmer and that she's got a rough relationship with her dad. From there, the story just plays out.
One thing I really liked was how the father played into the story. In most films, the father would constantly be against having their kids go out and do things, mainly because they think it's too dangerous. However, here the father constantly encourages his daughter to do certain things, and when she has a plan, he usually agrees with it.
These characters also use their heads. They didn't make a single decision that I downright thought was stupid.
Overall, I thought the story and plot was handled nicely.
Overall, I thought Crawl was a very well acted and directed film that did an excellent job with its horror elements. The film was suspenseful and they managed to build great tension. The scares themselves were earned and they never felt cheap.
This film could have easily been cheesy and generic, but it's so well handled and written. The cinematography and production design were both excellent, as well as the score.
Overall, Crawl was very good summer monster flick that I had a great time watching.
© 2019 Royce Proctor