Here’s my Crawl review, which stars Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper and directed by Alexander Aja. It’s now showing from UIP-Philippines.
Watch the trailer below:
Kaya Scodelario’s character is suddenly forced to fight to survive as her she and her father find themselves trapped in the basement of their old home during a superstorm, with a bunch of alligators stalking them. That’s pretty much the premise of Crawl which is also directed by Alexander Aja.
Crawl is a fresh take on the disaster movie/ monster movie genre and a worthy addition to other notable alligator/crocodile movies that people actually like like Lake Placid, Rogue and Primeval. The only difference here is that “Crawl” is set more close to home – literally and figuratively.
Kaya Scodelario plays up to her strengths in this film showing more promise of good acting in various degrees of dread and terror. She makes the whole ordeal in the film grounded and realistic. Her chemistry with her dad played by Barry Pepper also stands out. Lastly, the writing for their character was great with a true ‘cathartic’ effect as the credits roll and we see them have their little happy ending.
Aja’s cinematic flair is also put to the test and it comes out strong. Him and his team provide great set pieces that makes the story really interesting and believable. As in, its believable that alligators could invade your home given the right situation and rain hell on your lives.
The movie’s plot is surprisingly tight. We dont have too much backstory to digest, which makes it easier for us to start rooting for the protagonists in the story. Most of the supporting characters or just any random character here are basically fodder for the alligators and serve to heighten the tension and intimidation for our heroes. That’s one of the strengths for this film.
In terms of horror and suspense, Aja did an extremely good job at keeping us at the edge of our seats then letting us take breaks to help grudgingly move the connection between father and daughter. By the end of the movie, we even have a nice happy ending with some symbolism thrown in for good measure i.e. the old house that reminded both characters of the pain of being left behind by a loved one.
Also speaking about the visual effects they did for the main “villains” for Crawl, happy to report that they looked real enough. Production did a good job of providing scary looking critters that does the job of evoking fear and anxiety not just for the main characters but also for the audience. Aja’s use of the tight space the story revolved on was also excellent and the set design and camera work really made it feel creepy. Too bad though there were some key moments that was thrown away by the trailers, could have made some excellent surprises and jump scares.
Crawl Review – VERDICT
Its an almost perfect movie for me. It’s definitely fresh and while “survival horror in X place” has been done to death (looking at you Snakes on a Plane), they managed to write it as an engaging, brilliantly scary movie. Great musical scoring and sound design, the alligators are scary af and there’s an actual plot and an actual story to boot.
Special thanks to UIP Philippines for the special screening. CRAWL now showing in theaters nationwide!