Alexandre Aja’s latest horror Crawl is a gator gorefest that exceeded my expectations. When a category five hurricane hits Florida, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) ignores evacuation orders and heads back to her childhood home to check on her father (Barry Pepper). After she finds him gravely injured in the crawl space under their family home, the two become trapped by quickly encroaching floodwaters and mother flipping alligators. Forget about snakes on planes – it’s all about gators in your basement!
The father and daughter back story is a little cheesy but both English actress Kaya Scodelario and veteran Canadian actor Barry Pepper bring excellent performances to what I never expected to be a deep character-driven piece. And, it’s these solid performances that help you believe this is actually happening and keeps the film grounded.
Crawl is claustrophobic, terrifying and definitely not for the faint-hearted. The director Alexandre Aja does an excellent job of keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat using every trick in the book and some. Add in great CGI effects and you’ll find yourself deeply immersed in this tense cat and mouse game for survival.
This film surprised me a little and definitely proves that a simple premise, like people being trapped trying to escape gators, can reap the rewards. This isn’t your average ‘creature feature’ and might surprise many viewers in a good way.
Crawl is an intense suburban nightmare where the jump scares have extra bite. It’s a snappy white knuckle ride that horror fans will love.
Reviewed by Ian Wright.