If anyone has any dreams of moving to Florida or thinks it would be nice think again. You will be re-thinking those dreams after seeing Crawl. This film is a bona-fide “creature feature” about a father and daughter trying to escape vicious alligators who have invaded their home during a hurricane. I thought this would be fun, just a thrilling/tense film. And even though I wasn’t expecting it to go above and beyond, I came away disappointed. Now this isn’t a bad film per say, I just found it average overall.
Sam Raimi being involved in this is really what gave me high hopes this would be an exhilarating time at the movies. Evil Dead (both the original and remake) and Drag Me to Hell are favorites of mine. From seeing those films, I knew Raimi does good work. And judging from the trailers, it looked very visually striking too. For the most part, the trailers are correct in that the film does sport cool visuals and some very tense scenes. There’s one scene in particular where the main character goes into the drain pipe that I found very effective. Atmosphere was used in a clever way. The use of atmosphere and the tense nature of several scenes are definitely Crawl’s biggest positives.
Kaya Scodelario is pretty good, and has a few bad ass moments. To be honest, there isn’t any time to build her character up or anything, her job is to be convincing in the horrifying situation her and her father find themselves in. She definitely does that and for that I praise her. she also managed not to overact which is a must with these types of films. I hate seeing a sloppy/over the top performance in a horror or thriller.
The film’s pacing is ok I guess though I took issue with the duration. Crawl is only an hour and twenty seven minutes long, which feels too short in my opinion. I get not wanting to go too long with a film of this type, but I walked away feeling underwhelmed and like it needed a little more. I know the consensus for this has been really positive, so I hate to be a party pooper, but honestly I didn’t have nearly as much fun with this as I was expecting.
While there are some effective moments, by the end of the whole thing I just felt like I hadn’t seen much. Nothing really grabbed me or stood out. A lot of the critics that are giving it really positive reviews are saying it’s fun and self aware. They’re right that it’s fun…. some of the time. There are stretches where I was not having fun with it and was honestly a little bored. While I don’t fault films in general for being “by the numbers”, this one being predictable was a negative for it. Some films can get away with being predictable because they do it so well, but in Crawl’s case, they needed something that made it different, an extra ingredient if you will. So many of the scenes have a lot going on and it gets intense, but I just didn’t feel impacted that much and only had fun here and there.
Like I said I hate to be a party pooper, but I was expecting a summertime creature feature like this to be more entertaining. This isn’t a bad film and they do a number of things correctly, but I wouldn’t say it’s worth the price of a 10 dollar movie ticket, wait to rent or Redbox it. I left the theater with the word average in my head, and that’s the best way to describe Crawl.