HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Crawl And Make It Snappy
Year: 2019
Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson, Jose Palma, George Somner, Anson Boon, Ami Metcalf, Tina Pribicevic, Srna Vasiljevic, Colin McFarlane, Annamaria Serda, Savannah Steyn
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Haley (Kaya Scodelario) is a student who is hanging onto her scholarship, but only just, since it hinges on her swimming ability and she has not done as well in that sport recently as she would have preferred. But as she gets dressed after a session in the water, her sister calls her and asks her if she knows where their father (Barry Pepper) is, for there is a severe weather warning in place what with a hurricane on the way, and she would prefer to be safe in the knowledge he had managed to get away from their Florida home and to shelter. Haley, who is fairly certain he is fine, agrees to see if she can track him down as he is not answering his phone - but the storm is closing in on their home.

What does that have to do with crawling? While Scodelario and Pepper did their fair share of such a physical activity here, the title referred to something in the rising water, namely the alligator population which have invaded the smalltown Haley's dad lives in. With a film this waterlogged, it's not perhaps apt to say director Alexandre Aja was keeping his powder dry, but he did defer showing us the CGI reptiles until it was absolutely necessary, despite everyone who wanted to see this being well aware that's what the threat was. Although there were few big hopes for this, it did pick up a cult following among those who liked a creature feature with no pretensions and a sense of bite.

Literally as well as figuratively, that was. When Quentin Tarantino proclaimed this as his favourite movie of 2019, people started to sit up and take notice, though if they watched it, they may suspect this preference was because of the leading lady spending more or less the whole thing barefoot. Nevertheless, Tarantino was not wrong when he recognised Crawl's quality: Aja was no slouch when it came to horror you could get your teeth into, and Sam Raimi was aboard as a producer, a fan of the director since Haute Tension. That they managed to work together on this kind of no-nonsense shocker was very pleasing, and they were obviously enjoying the project's ample possibilities.

Despite that Raimi name attached, there were surprisingly few lapses into humour, as if they had decided to leave any chortling to an audience who were appreciating what a professional job everyone was doing with what in a different variation could have been straight to streaming fodder. But you could tell they were setting their sights higher than that, as Scodelario set her jaw and was more than prepared to look those beasts square in their beady eyes, a heroine who aside from her superhuman swimming skills (you have to take it as read she could outswim an alligator and hold her breath underwater for five minutes or whatever it was) was believably vulnerable when necessary, rendering her bursts of innovation and survival all the more gratifying when she was able to muster her resources.

So infused with gritty determination was Crawl that every so often you would be uncertain if you were being fed a joke or a reference (is Haley quoting John Carpenter's The Thing, for instance?) that a Raimi-directed movie would be all over. But as our heroine finds her father injured in the crawlspace underneath their house - injured by an alligator bite - and the waters are steadily rising with a real tide threatening, there was genuine suspense in this, especially given its habit of dangling a lifeline for the two main characters only to jerk it away to increase the peril they were suffering throughout. By turning Florida into a ecological apocalypse, this tapped into the current events in a manner that was not labouring under politics that might have had audiences groaning, as it was the action we were here for and it was the action we were provided, every so often an incidental victim appearing to get bits of them bitten off. Ecohorror had been a feature of the genre since The Birds, and this was nothing new, but it was nicely done. Music by Max Aruj and Steffen Thum.

[Crawl is available on Blu-ray™, DVD and to Download & Keep from December 16th. There's a pretty comprehensive featurette on Paramount's DVD as an extra.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1963 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: