Crocodile movies have a special place in my heart and yes, you guessed it this is another eighties related fetish. It was the year of our lord Satan 1986 when Crocodile Dundee, a commercial but very likable Australian movie hit the theaters. I watched it a couple of years later and was hooked on both crocodiles and big, cool-looking knives (did someone say Cobra). A year later, we got another one from the same country, as Dark Age, a much more serious affair about this subject was released. For the next good croc movie we had to wait thirteen years because Lake Placid, another humorous/adventure movie was the only good release in all those years.
Anywhoo, Crawl is a different beast, and I mean that literally since it features alligators. It combines survival genre that’s getting more and more popular with an animal-attack sub-genre to create a strange mixture that’s neither too realistic nor too crazy. What with all the Asylum and other weird movies like Sharknado and others, I must stress out that this is far from some cheap-ass flick but a big-budget blockbuster in the vein of the nineties hits like Twister.
Directed by Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Horns) who also directed Piranha 3D, a similar creature-feature and produced by Sam Raimi, Crawl is a fun and exciting movie with a lot of things going for it. It’s an entertaining ride through gator-ridden swamps of Florida and if you’re expecting some realistic or scary things here, you will be sorely mistaken. What you will get are some jaw-dropping cinematography and phenomenal special effects. With so few movies with big budgets being made about crocodiles and alligators, Crawl is a sight for sore eyes. Here, the bests look realistic as fuck and really scary, especially when combined with the whole mess that’s going on around them. Since there’s a hurricane whirling around this alligator-infested house that’s raising the tensions from the outside.
Haley Keller, a very talented swimmer who’s trying to make it in the tough world of University sports, just got a call from her sister informing her that a Category 5 hurricane is about to hit Florida and that she needs to get the fuck out. However, Haley is concerned for her father since he’s not answering his phone and decides to go over to his house and check out what’s going on there just as the hurricane is about to hit the area…
You can also expect some pretty gory and violent attacks, which was also very much appreciated because the movie could have been much more timid and CGI focused to appeal to younger viewers and make more money. Hitting a couple of my favorite tags like closed environment movies and real time flow movies, it reminded me of another similar movie featuring sharks instead of crocodiles: Bait. The story is pretty lame and we have the classic modern reversal of the roles where a strong daughter is rescuing her momentarily weak father, something to appeal to the general populace.
However, character development and dialogue was very weak and sometimes even cringe-worthy. I mean this father-daughter circle-jerk was just too much and when you add to those increasingly ridiculous situations that slowly buy surely moved this movie towards the unintentional comedy genre, you start to realize that you wish everyone was eaten by the alligators. They really forced the idea of them being stuck in one place that’s crawling with alligators and this fucked the atmosphere along with the pacing.
Another thing that was forced was the daughters’ background as a swimmer and her father as her coach. So, we are not talking about cult material here, but just a visually impressive movie featuring really gnarly alligator attacks and decent acting, especially when you consider how atrocious the script is. A perfect movie to get high or drunk and perhaps trash it along with your friends. And if you’re looking for movies like Crawl I recommend you check out our Rabbit Reviews list of Crocodile movies!
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writers: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson, Jose Palma, George Somner, Anson Boon
Fun Facts: Out of all the movies that were released in 2019, Quentin Tarantino has selected this one as his favorite.