Crawl is exactly what it promises to be: fighting alligators in a crawlspace during a level-5 hurricane. Directed by horror genre specialist Alexandre Aja, the movie moves forward with fast speed and determination from beginning to end. And while it isn’t the most artistic take on the genre, there’s enough lessons learned from other ”water-creature” films to make it exciting enough.
You got to love a horror film that uses its sets effectively. Much of the running time is spent in the crawlspace and it is utilised to both tension building and slight jump scares. As we move along, we also move to other parts in the house where especially scenes in the kitchen and the bathroom are executed and directed really well. Kaya Scodelario who plays the main character, Haley Keller, is superb in both physical and dramatic scenes. Though we don’t really get to know her, watching her trying to survive is still thrilling. The premise requires some hefty VFX to work and that truly isn’t the issue, main takeaway being that the alligators look realistic enough to keep you on your toes.
However characters are severely lacking some bite (hah) here, as you don’t really connect with any of the characters (mainly Haley or her dad Dave who is portrayed by Barry Pepper). This causes us not really being all that invested in their survival or in their father-daughter bonding. There are serious problems with the dialogue, throwing away plenty of ”honest” lines in the most awkward moments when they are fighting for their life. With the crawlspace there are also lack of rules applied as the dimensions seem to change, cheapening the sets just to play up the scares.
Smileys: Set and prop design, Kaya Scodelario, design of the alligators
Frowneys: Dialogue, doesn’t stick to its own rules
Sometimes you just need something fun. Well, at least I got it here.