Crawl starts with Haley (Kaya Scodelario) losing out in a swimming race, reminding her of her time back at school when the same thing used to happen, but now, a storm is about to hit the town and she might just have to swim for her life, because as per the trailer, the storm brings lots of water and lots of crocodiles, or alligator. Are they the same thing? Who knows. Either way, they like to bite.
She ill-advisedly braves the torrential rain and washed out roads to get to her Dad, Dave’s (Barry Pepper) house, as she thinks he needs help, AND HOW! Because just as she’s trying to get her Dad out of the cellar, that’s when Mr Crocodile makes an appearance…
Crawl does a great job of painting a simple premise of a horrible situation that’s about to get far worse as the rain does too, and there are jump-scares that work and this leads to a film where you can just check your brain at the door and enjoy the wild ride. However, while it is fairly entertaining, it does start to oustay its welcome once you get to the mid-way point.
This film doesn’t try to be original – it just tries to be entertaining. It knows that it’s a Jaws-style movie, and even pays homage in one scene – you’ll know it when you see it. Plus, at another point when Haley slowly raises her head out of the water, you know they’re going for an ‘Apocalypse Now‘-style moment, as she echoes Colonel Kurtz.
And perhaps, Splash, too (just Splash – not the dire made-for-TV sequel, Splash Too), since at one point she swims underwater for along time, even opening her mouth. Is she really a mermaid?? Is that the twist? No, there’s no mermaid twists in this film.
And another and – at one point she says to a particular man, “Hey, Wayne!”, which made me think of the Haywain. Maybe that’s why they put it in the script? Or maybe I’m overthinking it…
Just be prepared to throw reality out the window, because when you’ve been bitten in the leg by something, you’re not going to be so light on your feet.
And all the time you’re left wondering – will the cute little doggy get it?
Oh, and I do like how the end credits feature the song “See you later, alligator”
The video and audio is presented as bold and bright and LOUD as you’d expect from a modern movie, with no issues, and while the extras aren’t plentiful, they are as follows:
- Alternate opening (4:49): It shows a family leaving the town, and given that you know there’s crocs about, how well do you think it’s going to go for them? Either way, I’m glad they didn’t go with it because it would spoil a bit of a surprise in Haley’s household.
Just before this is an introduction from the director to explain that it’s made like a ‘motion comic’ – and that sums it up pretty well, and that runs (0:25).
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (6:03): Three of them, here. The first two are nothing that needs to go back in, but are still worth a watch. The third is an extended scene from late in the film which I think works better than as it was in the film, but… no spoilers.
- Beneath Crawl (28:05): A more substantial ‘making of’ and the sort of thing you’d think they’d open the extras with. There’s behind the scenes footage with chat from the key cast and crew members.
- Category 5 Gators: The VFX of Crawl (11:37): CGI time for the crocs.
- Alligator Attacks (1:32): A compliation of the moments when they attack!
The disc I was sent for a review is, I presume the final product, but it’s very odd in that it plays three trailers before the film in random order and it’s not always easy to skip them.
The menu features a repetitive piece of music from the theme, subtitles are in several languages listed below, and there are a bog-standard 12 chapters.
Running time: 88 minutes
Released: December 16th 2019
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1 HD-MA
Languages: Dolby DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (Spanish, French Canadian, Japanese, Brazillian Portuguese, Thai)
Subtitles: English SDH, Bahasa Malaysia, Cantonese, Spanish, French Canadian, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Brazillian Portuguese, Thai
Widescreen: 1.78:1 (ARRIRAW (4.5K) (3.4K))
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Alexandre Aja
Producers: Alexandre Aja, Craig Flores, Sam Raimi
Screenplay: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen
Music: Max Aruj, Steffen Thum
Haley: Kaya Scodelario
Dave: Barry Pepper
Beth: Morfydd Clark
Wayne: Ross Anderson
Pete: Jose Palma
Marv: George Somner
Stan: Anson Boon
Lee: Ami Metcalf
Young Haley: Tina Pribicevic
Louise: Srna Vasiljevic
Governor: Colin McFarlane
Emma: Annamaria Serda
Lisa: Savannah Steyn
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.