Review: CRAWL Is A Silly, Intense, Claustrophobic Thriller


While very ridiculous, Crawl is a creature film that isn't too out there and presents two likable characters against several sharp-toothed alligators.
Technical Merit

Crawl is the latest creature film from director Alexandre Aja (Piranha 3D) and is also this year’s unexpected summer hit. A grounded concept that isn’t overly unrealistic, but heightens the situation just enough. Clocking in at nearly 90 minutes, the film doesn’t waste any time, as from start to finish it does precisely what is supposed to do.

Written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, Crawl stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper as a father and daughter duo who find themselves trapped in a crawl space during a hurricane. They aren’t alone, as the water rises, so do the number of alligators that occupy the crawl space with them. The premise is simple, and the film never goes outside of that simplicity by keeping its two leads interesting, staying grounded, and building endless amounts of tension till the film’s last shot. However, it is ridiculous at times; the decisions made by the characters can be mind-boggling given the severe nature of the situation.

Photo Credit: Sergej Radović. © 2019 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

After a brief introduction to the characters, the Rasmussens launch an edge of your seat thriller that is carried by a rekindled bond between a young woman and her father. Haley (Scodelario), is a swimmer at the University of Florida who doesn’t have the best relationship with her dad. Crawl highlights her swimming background to add logic to the madness that awaits her and to illustrate her chances of surviving compared to everyone else. Haley isn’t just a swimmer; she has been practicing since her childhood, which means the audience should now believe she can survive a space full of alligators (horror cliche). Due to the film’s no time to waste pacing, it’s easy to overlook all of the logistics of the matter.

Adding to that, Scodelario and Pepper are a delight to watch as they try to stay away from their sharp-toothed guests. Both portray characters that the audience can get behind, specifically Haley, who uses her swimming abilities to save herself as well as her father. From the moment Haley is presented, the viewer is made to feel for her because the expressions Scodelario gives says that she isn’t entirely happy in life. While the decisions in their efforts to survive are quite doltish, they learn from their mistakes. Blending an emotional arc between two likable characters, and putting them against savage creatures is always effective, but Crawl does it better than most.

crawl basement
Photo Credit: Sergej Radović. © 2019 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

Surprisingly, the film might not be as gory as some would like. Usually, when Aje is attached to direct, that means blood-splattering is a sure thing. Crawl is more interested in focusing on the fear of the unknown, and as the water rises, the character’s chances of survival decrease. However, Aje again shows he is capable of directing a tightly wound, suspenseful story. Crawl is an improvement from some of his previous work, but not enough to welcome a return to form. The film only falls short in its logic, and the never-ending makeup story between our two leads, which grows tiresome.

CRAWL Final Thoughts

Crawl is a film that wasn’t expected to be as good as it was. Due in part to the fact that similar projects over the years have been riddled with bad acting, poor storytelling, and more illogical nonsense that one can manage. Luckily, is no Sharknado  and is a surprising summer blast due to its emotional story, solid performances, and intense action sequences.

Did you see Crawl this weekend, what did you think? Comment below with your thoughts and how many stars you would give the film.


In The Dark | Soy Yo | Season Trailer | The CW

In The Dark premieres Thursday, April 16 and streams next day free only on The CW! SUBSCRIBE: About IN THE DARK: A flawed and irreverent blind woman is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the…

What’s wilder than tigers? The Tiger King’s viral music videos | Netflix

From "Here Kitty Kitty" to "I Saw A Tiger," is there anything more iconic than "The Tiger King" Joe Exotic singing and slaying in his very own low-budget music videos?! Dive in as we break down the best of Joe Exotic's music video work -- using emojis! SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix Netflix is the world's…

Tiger King is WILD! | Series Discussion and Review

Tiger King has taken the internet by storm! I share my thoughts about Netflix's bizarre new show. Join in on the discussion below. #TigerKing | #JoeExotic | #Netflix | #Review Other Ways to Follow ►FACEBOOK: ►TWITTER: ►LETTERBOXD: Intro / Outro Music: –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Fresh by Ikson Music promoted by Audio Library…

Extraction | Official Trailer | Netflix

Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary who embarks on the deadliest mission of his career when he’s enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an international crime lord. Directed by Sam Hargrave, this action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller is produced by Joe and Anthony Russo, the visionary directors of Avengers: Endgame. Watch Extraction…

I Know This Much Is True: Official Teaser | HBO

A family saga between twins in a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness. Based on the bestselling novel by Wally Lamb,and adapted and directed by Derek Cianfrance, I Know This Much Is True starring Mark Ruffalo premieres May 10. #HBO #IKnowThisMuchIsTrue #IKTMIT Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Don’t have HBO? Order Now: Get…

ItsHeyMorgan’s Self Care Watchlist | Amazon Prime Video in April 2020

ItsHeyMorgan gives us her flawless skincare routine while breaking down everything coming to Amazon Prime Video in April 2020. Don't miss Tales from the Loop, Bosch, Les Misérables, Selah and the Spades + more! About Prime Video: Want to watch it now? We've got it. This week's newest movies, last night's TV shows, classic favorites,…

Nancy Drew | Dead Lucy | Extended Season Trailer | The CW

Watch new episodes on Wednesdays and stream Nancy Drew from the beginning, free only on The CW: SUBSCRIBE: About NANCY DREW: Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is a brilliant teenaged detective whose sense of self had come from solving mysteries in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay, Maine – until her mother's untimely death derails…

Nicky Jam: El Ganador | Official Trailer | Netflix

From his humble and troubled start in Boston, to his downfall on the streets, to becoming the king of one of the most popular musical genres, this is not only the life of Nicky Jam, but the history of reggaeton itself. The reborn star has since received some of the most prestigious awards in the…
Eric Trigg
Eric Trigg
 I am Horror fanatic that can't go a single month without watching something horror related. I have a YouTube channel that is growing and would love for you to be one of my supporters. The fact that sequels exist proves there is no perfect film. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here