Crawl (***) is what you’d hope to fear

Crawl – 2019

Director Alexandre Aja
Screenplay Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen
Starring Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper

Haley Keller (Scoledario) is a swimmer whose life is just a little off. She’s just a bit off of reaching the first team which is what she needs to maintain her scholarship. Her mother is off to Paris with her new boyfriend. Her sister is living up north with a brand new baby. And she just called Haley asking the whereabouts of their father (Pepper) who is not answering his phone while living in the eye of the massive storm head towards him, two hours away.

She goes into the eye of the storm and discovers her dad in peril. Only she doesn’t know how or why. As she tries to rescue him, she discovers the reason is Alligators that have worked their way under the house where he went to fix a maguffin.

Scoldario is definitely in a tight spot, but thankfully she’s in an Aja film that is closer to PG-13 than his typical R. Normally women in the director’s films don’t bode well. She takes a lot of abuse, but she is given many moments to turn tables on her apex predator.

There are some well placed thrills and some moments that stretch credulity. It’s still the best Alligators in a hurricane movie that I have seen. There is a glow to the eyes of the Gators that I haven’t seen before, sure. It sure looks creepy when it’s not jumping at someone from the side.

In total the film kept the audience in reasonable suspense for the duration of its running time. It will fill the need for those who want to be scared without wondering too much whether or not they’re gullible.

The two leads have decent chemistry as father and daughter, even sharing a genuine moment during one of the few lulls of the action.

The film is likable in spite of the fact the gators show up where ever they need to be, like a submersible Michael Myers. The film is meant to give people scares, not teach them about how the terrible lizards actually go on about their day.

If you want to feel like alligators live only to hunt you down, see Crawl.

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