Comments Off on Crawl

Everyone who watched Skins (2007-2010) loved Effy Stonem (Kaya Scodelario); she was the epitome of cool. So who wouldn’t want to see badass Effy Stonem battle for survival against man-eating alligators in southern Florida? This is essentially the premise of Alexandre Aja’s film Crawl (2019).

In the same vein as The Shallows (2016), Crawl pits a beautiful young woman against one of nature’s deadliest predators. These film don’t really have much else in common though since the protagonist in Crawl is also rescuing her estranged father while tangling with reptiles during a hurricane. In Crawl nature itself is literally the villain. The protagonist, Haley (Kaya Scodelario), fights tooth and nail to preserve the core of her family unit in the face of the earth’s wrath.

Critics have rightly pointed out that what makes Crawl an exceptional genre feature is the subtle way that global warming figures into the disaster that sets the gators loose on Haley and her dad (Barry Pepper). There are no mad scientists or secret government conspiracies behind the carnage in Crawl, it’s all simply down to global warming. This subtle piece of sophistication coupled with the compelling familial discord makes Crawl relevant in both intimate and public ways.

Fortunately Crawl is completely unpretentious and is never anything but a creature feature. Yes it emphasizes the daughter/father relationship, but it’s still a very bloody affair. Around little pocket scenes of drama are long gory sequences with appropriately nauseating close-ups of wounds. Crawl can be hard to stomach, but isn’t that the point?