Crawl Movie Review

Posted 2019/07/121860

Crawl movie reviews

Plot : When a massive hurricane hits her Florida hometown, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) ignores evacuation orders to search for her missing father (Barry Pepper). Finding him gravely injured in the crawl space of their family home, the two become trapped by quickly encroaching floodwaters. As time runs out to escape the strengthening storm, Haley and her father discover that the rising water level is the least of their fears. Read some best crawl movie reviews

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Noel Murray – Los Angeles Times, 1st crawl movie review

It doesn’t take long for the “when animals attack” thriller “Crawl” to give the audience what it paid for. In the opening minutes, University of Florida swim team star Haley Keller (played by Kaya Scodelario) drives back to her hometown in the middle of a Category 5 hurricane to check in on her worryingly incommunicado dad, Dave (Barry Pepper). Fairly quickly, she finds him unconscious in the crawlspace under their family home … with deep claw marks across his torso, and a giant alligator slithering nearby.

What follows is an escalating version of a survivalist creature-feature: like “The Shallows” or “Tremors,” but amplified. It turns out there isn’t just one humongous alligator patrolling the rising waters around the Keller house; there’s a whole congregation. Also, the storm is rapidly flooding the crawlspace, and a nearby levee is buckling.

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While Haley and Dave are evading snapping reptiles — and tending to an almost preposterous series of flesh wounds and snapped limbs — they’re aware that even if they can survive the man-eaters, they’ll still have to make it through a freakin’ hurricane.

The pileup of crises proves to be a bit more than director Alexandre Aja and screenwriters Michael and Shawn Rasmussen can handle. “Crawl” is action-packed, with impressive special effects and some jaw-dropping images of mayhem and destruction. But a movie like this demands more storytelling discipline and logistical control than these filmmakers can manage.

Pepper and Scodelario are both very good, playing a tough-love father and his resentful daughter. But their dysfunctional family drama isn’t all that essential, and certainly isn’t important enough to merit multiple digressive heart-to-heart talks about their broken relationship — especially not in the middle of an all-out assault by hurricane gators.

While Aja has some experience with these kinds of movies (having helmed the much more tongue-in-cheek “Piranha 3D”), he has some difficulty with the one thing that’s most important about this kind of story: visual coherence. The viewer needs to know at all times exactly where the heroes are, where their attackers could be, and what resources each side has at its disposal. In “Crawl,” it’s often so dark and chaotic that it’s hard to tell when the Kellers have strayed too far.

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That said, Aja and his effects team do a remarkable job with the hurricane threat, capturing the way that rushing floods and strong winds can turn the warmth and comfort of home into a dangerous pile of free-floating debris. When it’s really working — which is only about half the time — “Crawl” is an efficient and clever environmental adventure picture, set in a nice old house where suddenly nothing is safe. It has enough good jolts that it’s disappointing when the choreography gets sloppy.

Ultimately, “Crawl” is nerve-racking enough that it doesn’t need all the fillips and underscoring that Aja and the Rasmussens add. Who needs daddy issues when there are killer beasties and walls of water closing in? What’s a better metaphor for a broken home than a literally broken home?

Phil Villarreal ABC Tucson, 2nd Crawl movie review

Crawl” is aptly named because that’s what time tends to do as you watch the gator-infested would-be thriller, waiting for something to happen.

An overly serious, methodical-to-a-fault tale of survival, “Crawl” takes the less-is-more approach, and in taking that risk ends more on the “less” side of the equation. There was potential here for a genre-advancing thrill ride, but that sinks quickly to the bottom of the swamp.

Director Alexandre Aja (“Piranha 3D,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” working in concert with horror maestro producer Sam Raimi, is in an experimental mood, aiming to squeeze all the tension he can out of close-quarters cat-and-mouse antics.

There was potential for humor in the outrageous premise, but Aja and his crew went the other way, sticking with a rigid, somber mood punctuated by occasional thrills and a cascade of buildups that go nowhere.

Kaya Scodelario plays Haley, a college swimmer — a Florida Gator, because that’s the kind of movie this is — who’s troubled by her strained relationship with her father, Dave (Barry Pepper). With a Category 5 hurricane on the way, Dave stubbornly refuses to evacuate, and Haley races in for the rescue. Little do eitehr know that the hurricane is the least of their worries.

You have to respect “Crawl” for its bare-bones economy. The bulk of the movie is a two-person show inside a steadily flooding house swarmed by flesh-hungry alligators.

The daughter-father chemistry between Scodelario and Pepper is relatable, and their performances are appropriately harried. Scodelario rises well to the challenge of a combination of action hero and indestructible Horror Flick Final Girl, but her charisma can only do so much to keep a slow, sparse script interesting.

The onus is on the swarming, CGI gators to ratchet up the horror factor, but they lack personality and cleverness and wind up being oafish goobers who are too slow, simple-minded and clumsy to present any real threat. Even tougher to to fathom is how the gators rarely-accurate bites fail to leave much permanent damage.

It gets tough to fear for the lives of either Haley or Dave once both have been repeatedly yet conveniently shake off their injuries in order to perform the next series of improbable stunts.

In a subpar thriller, it becomes tempting to root for the monsters, if only to enjoy the spectacle of carnage. These gators, though, are more pitiable than intimidating. The visual effects do them no favors, making their green screen thrashings look more like video games than state-of-the-art film.

Crawl movie” could have been a fun, adrenaline-pumping escapade in the vein of “Anaconda,” “Slither” or “The Meg,” but instead it chomps incompetently at air before crawling back into the hole from whence it came. Which is where it should have stayed.

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