FRIGHTFEST 2019: The Grump Of Horror Reviews CRAWL

FrightFest 2019: Crawl (2019)

Haley, despite being estranged from her father, goes to check on him as a hurricane hits…only for them both to come under attack by alligators…

When I saw the trailer for this film, it looked like it was going to be an enjoyable, fun, rollercoaster of jumps in a film that would purely entertain. And you know what? That’s pretty much what I got from the film.

It’s written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen and it’s a film that really only sets out to do one thing and one thing only and that is to entertain. On that level it works very well indeed. The more emotional aspects of the story as Haley and her father attempt to reconnect, while under threat is well handled too.

The film is directed by Alexandre Aja and he knows how to keep the tension throughout, with some very good jump moments and some suitably brutal, nasty violence. It’s a film that walks the line between absurd nonsense and tense little thriller well. It’s a film that knows what it is and doesn’t hide from it.

Although there are other characters (mostly gator food!), it really boils down to the two main characters, Haley and her father. Barry Pepper plays the father, Dave, and is pretty good, encouraging Haley to dig deep at times, while also showing resourcefulness himself. But the film belongs to Kaya Scodelario as Haley. Tough, resourceful, she is very good as a woman having to fight against the alligators as well as overcoming some of her own self doubts.

The effects for both the hurricane and the alligators are great, the music is not bad, the set and production design is well done. There’s really nothing to dislike here.

Crawl (which has Sam Raimi as a producer) is a film that if you have seen the trailer, is exactly the film you think it’s going to be. But even if you haven’t, it covers a lot of the cliche’s a film of this kind would normally have. I’m not saying that in a negative way. Sometimes a film like this is all you need.

Crawl is nothing new, but that said, I wanted a big, dumb, fun monster film and that is exactly what I wanted from it.

And I won’t complain about that.

Rating: *** out of 5

About Bill

Founder/Head Writer of The Horrorcist.

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