Sunday, August 2, 2020


Movie Name: Crawl
Year of Release: 2019
Director: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Kaya Scoledario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson, Jose Palma, Anson Boon, Ami Metcalf
Genre: Action, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5 

Synopsis and Review:
Director Alexandre Aja who made a name for himself with the horror films "High Tension" and the remake of "The Hills Have Eyes", has crafted a tautly engineered and executed B-movie with his latest endeavor, "Crawl". The plot of the film focuses on the story of Haley, a competitive swimmer, who finds herself in the middle of a hurricane when she goes back home seeking her father. While looking for her father in the basement, she discovers he's indeed there, but has been hurt since with the rising level of the waters, alligators have come in and started attacking. What she thinks is a fairly straightforward way of getting her father out, turns out to be more dangerous, as she herself is attacked, and as both of them map out a plan, the water levels keep rising, threatening to drown them both, before they can even escape.
"Crawl" is a rather straightforward film, drawing inspiration from classic B-films, including ones from Roger Corman's producing factory (such as Alfredo Zacharias's "The Bees" or even Joe Dante's "Piranha"), in the sense that it has an economical script, few actors, and a monster motif which is what sets everything in motion. In this case, the director smartly creates a claustrophobic environment for the action to take place, as the father and daughter try to escape the basement where they find themselves in, with the water levels quickly rising. While that ends up being the most ingenious part of the film, the director quickly reveals the danger, something that he could have suggested initially and then unveiled, while the dynamics of the father/daughter relationship, adds very little to the understanding of the characters. The definition of the characters is where the film falters, since it chooses to interwove these moments of clarification and background on their existence, while in the middle of trying to survive the predators. The characters themselves are also quite generic, but in the end, the film is all about people trying to escape a lethal menace that never stops. Barry Pepper manages to convincingly create a stoic and resilient father figure. The cinematography from Maxime Alexandre is effective, as are the visual effects of the film. Entertaining even if quickly forgettable.