What is the movie about? :: Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario) who studies in the University of Florida hopes to gain new heights as a swimmer, and she had been trained for the sport by her father Dave Keller (Barry Pepper) since childhood, when she used to break all challenges underwater. It is during one of those swimming training sessions at the university that she comes to know about a Category 5 Hurricane Wendy which is on a collision course with Florida, as her elder sister Beth Keller (Morfydd Clark) who lives with her family in Boston calls her, and advises her to get out of the state as soon as possible. But it turns out that she can’t reach her father, and she decides to go to her family home, make a quick visit and leave the state with him. As she gets close to her hometown, Wayne Taylor (Ross Anderson), a police officer and Beth’s ex-boyfriend asks her to go back as the cops are trying to lockdown the place.
So, what happens with the events here? :: Even though most of the roads on the way are partially flooded with heavy rain still coming down, she quickly takes a deviation, and goes to her house much to the dismay of Wayne. She gets to the place where he was supposed to be staying, but finds only their dog, Sugar. Then she leaves for the family home where she grew up, hoping to find him there – she also takes the dog with her, and finds the water level on the roads to have risen further, and the rain not seeming to lessen at all. She finds his truck at Coral Lake house, but he doesn’t seem to be anywhere in the house, leading her to search in the basement. There, she finds her father wounded and without consciousness. But she is attacked and is cornered by a group of alligators seemingly arriving there due to flooding. Now, their exit is locked, and there is no option of calling anyone.
And what else follows with the happenings? :: The mobile phone is destroyed in the process, and everyone in the neighborhood seems to have left the place due to flooding, and the hurricane expected to pass through the middle of the town, with further flooding almost there. More water comes into the basement, and the place starts getting flooded, making their safe corner behind the pipes to be accessible for the alligators by swimming. Both are injured, and Haley being a swimming champion seems to have a better chance of swimming out of it, but not with the alligators around. Through the window, she gets the attention of three young thieves (Anson Boon, George Somner and Ami Metcalf) who are stealing things from the flooded petrol pump and shop on the opposite side of the road. But as they look to the other side, they are caught by another group of alligators and killed. Now, Haley and her father are left with just the option to swim – but isn’t that suicide?
The defence of Crawl :: The movie does provide thrills with some nail-biting moments, and we are with the protagonists from the beginning itself, as a natural disaster along with some alligators are coming to get her and her father. There is her skills in water being focused with all the action, and the father-daughter bonding is also there to be taken. The atmosphere of the movie is very well done, as the flooding, the dark clouds and the powerful wind creates the feeling of the impossible escape throughout the flick. The same can be said about the characters whom we can relate with, especially as we have had our lockdown, and an invisible enemy in the form of a virus instead of the alligators. There are some quick scares with the alligators around, and there is the blood and gore associated with alligator attacks. The alligators coming out of nowhere adds to the much needed scares and there is fear present through out the movie.
The claws of flaw :: Crawl might still pale in comparison to grand survival movies like The Shallows. But this one doesn’t have that much of a perfect realism to go with it, as our protagonist fights many alligators and ends up surviving while that movie was one true survival flick with the main character taking days to final get rid of one shark. So, there is a little bit of extra added here in Crawl as far as surviving is concerned, and there it goes in the path of movies like Jaws. It could have also had more deaths to add to its tally, or at least some dead bodies to add to the scary moments. If these moments of fear had also lasted longer regarding the in-movie time, that would have also been nice – the movie is also very short in total run-time, and this is the kind of alligator attack that we can go through if we have less than one and half hours to spare, thus never dragging or wasting time.
The performers of the soul :: Alexandre Aja, the director is known for violent French slasher cult movies like Haute Tension, and master horror movies in English like The Hills Have Eyes and Mirrors. There is horror staying on here, with his skills. Kaya Scodelario does a fantastic job here as the protagonist. She seems to be perfectly suited for this role in more than one way. I remember seeing her for the first time in The Maze Runner, and she was a special addition there. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales also had her presence, and she surely has one performance to remember. There are some fine dialogues and her moving through water evading the alligators as the apex predator – the moments that rise above all. Barry Pepper also has his moments as the father. The rest of the cast members don’t have much to do except for being food to the alligators, or being part of the world outside.
How it finishes :: During the time of Corona Virus, Crawl becomes another movie to watch with another natural disaster causing people to face the wrath of nature and its creatures. At these times, we have faced terror in one way and went to lockdown, and with this movie, lets see what awaits us in bigger size, as we become nothing facing mother nature. The movie has nicely captured the fury of nature, not just with the creatures, but also with the flooding and the coming hurricane. The special effects make sure that we are engaged to this atmosphere in more than one way – well, flooding is coming during these monsoons in different parts of India just like last years, and this movie is something that we can watch again during those time. With the climate changes, we always have to be ready for more.
Release date: 12th July 2019
Running time: 87 minutes
Directed by: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson, Anson Boon, Jose Palma, George Somner, Ami Metcalf, Annamaria Serda, Savannah Steyn
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.