Movies like “Crawl” will more often fail than they succeed. That’s only natural when you take a concept like a giant alligator infestation that takes place during a hurricane, while still trying to fit in a character redemption story. This time however, it’s done right by focusing on delivering exactly what the audience is expecting.
Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner series) stars as “Hailey” a college competitive swimmer from the University of Florida (Go Gators!), who drives into a category 5 hurricane to search for her father. When she finds her dad trapped in a crawl space under their old home, surrounded by giant alligators, it’s up to her to get him out before he drowns and gets eaten, in some order or another.
There are some real jump scares here, and the CGI gators are menacing. Director Alexandre Aja paints a cool looking film that looks like a world that is crumbling around our characters, and the it’s tense watching Hailey sneak around these massive creatures as the water continues to rise. It’s only an hour and 27 minutes long, but it’s all muscle and doesn’t waste any of your time.
There are some drawbacks. The acting isn’t going to win any Oscars, and the script is cringe-worthy at some points, but with a film like this you’re not expecting Shakespeare.
As a Florida boy writing an Orlando blog, It’d be wrong for me to not to say that there could have been some more knowledgeable advisors on hurricanes for the film. There ain’t going to be no swim practice with a category 5 bearing down on Florida and we take these things much more seriously than the film believes. There are some lines you’ll hear that will sound just plain ridiculous.
For the majority of the country that’s never been through a hurricane though, it should be an enjoyable mid summer scare.
Running time: 87 minutes