Friday, July 12, 2019

Crawl - Review

A house full of Alligators. A category five hurricane. Both are equally terrifying in their own right, but a combo of the two would is dreadful and gruesome in all the worst (or best) ways. Putting characters in the path of  disasters or various natural predators is not a new idea, but the perils of sloshing through a Florida swamp comes with its own bits of outlandish entertainment.

When a massive hurricane hits her Florida town, young Haley (Kaya Scodelario) ignores the evacuation orders to search for her missing father, Dave (Barry Pepper). After finding him gravely injured in their family home, the two of them become trapped by the rapidly encroaching floodwaters. With the storm strengthening, Haley and Dave discover an even greater threat than the rising water level -- a relentless attack from a pack of gigantic alligators.

In terms of set-ups, none get quite as bonkers, yet somehow believable, as Crawl does. The combination of an unforgiving disaster and an unrelenting congregation of monsters presents the opportunity for suspense and blood at every turn. The filmmakers, fortunately, realize this premise is what people are coming for, and waste no time getting there. Outside of some light familial drama to give the characters some background before the thrills kick in, the majority of the film focuses on escaping the jaws of catastrophe.

Don’t get confused, however, the film is still hugely silly from start to finish, but it at least has the awareness to realize it and even play into it. It looks, feels, and behaves exactly how you’d expect a B-movie to take shape, even bending some laws of nature to make the survivability of a gator infested, hurricane induced, flood a little believable.

Yet, it never abandons some of the actual dread that comes about from the experience of its two lead characters. And while the characterizations are never too deep, the committed performances from both Scodelario and Pepper really sell the dangerous situation in which they find themselves, even when everything is (conveniently) going wrong.

Crawl is one part disaster, one part creature feature, and one part high octane thriller, and it somehow all meshes extremely well. It’s not a great film on its parts alone, but its ability to steer into its bizarre scenario and make it somewhat fun and dreadful at the same is no easy task and director Alexandre Aja somehow pulls it off. In a summer of increasingly disappointing blockbusters, don’t ignore the solid B-movie that’s bonkers entertainment.

No comments :

Post a Comment