by Ian Morton
After the success of the Evil Dead franchise back in the 80’s, Sam Raimi’s association with horror has come to define his signature on a project as a sign of high quality. Plastered all over the posters, it’s no surprise Paramount Pictures has wanted to gain some extra reach with its audience but in reality, Crawl is a super proficient horror that can easily stand on its own two (or even four) feet!
Set in Florida, the story follows swimming protege, Haley, as a vicious storm begins to batter The Sunshine State. After hearing nothing from her dad, Haley decides to check in on him before heading to the safe zone. Having first battled authorities and a worsening storm, things go from bad to worse as her father is found unconscious under the house, a pair of mighty alligators come out to feast and her breast stroke is put to task against rising storm waters.
What comes next is a highly predictable set of events, a nuts and bolts approach to survival horror that does relatively little to scratch beneath the surface, but that lavishes in the genre with such a relentless atmosphere, it will easily keep you engaged for the hour and a half run time.
Director Alejandre Aja treads similar ground to 2016’s, The Shallows as well as 1999’s, Lake Placid. The film gives us a pithy heroine to follow and a shockingly efficient run time in which it strikes the right tone and revels in beast vs bait plot. These simple ingredients come together to create a horror film where your antagonist has the skills to fight back, grabbing you when the action begins and never letting go until the credits role. It’s really all you need given the films inarguable self awareness of what it is and what it wants to be.
Make no mistake, if you don’t like the survival horror, Crawl will do relatively little to convince you otherwise. If however, you love a bit of bite to your B movie, there is a whole lot of fun to be had here!
Crawl is available on Blu-ray™, DVD and to Download & Keep now!!
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