Crawl - Hollywood horror movie review

Crawl is a horror movie that was released in the month of July in the USA. The movie is about a father and daughter who, along with their pet dog, must confront a category 5 hurricane as well as hostile alligators from a nearby lake in order to stay alive. The movie stars Kaya Scodelario of The Maze Runner Series fame.

One of the nice things about the Hollywood movie industry is that they make movies in diverse genres ranging from drama to horror to musicals. Sometimes the makers go one step ahead and even bring two or more sub-genres together in one film. Crawl, which was released in India on the 23rd of August, is one such movie. Starring Kaya Scodelario and Barry Peppler and directed by Alexandre Aja, Crawl is a disaster cum horror cum monster movie. The movie was released in the USA in the month of July and was a critical and commercial success. Against a budget of USD 13.5 million, the movie grossed USD 65 million worldwide.


Haley (Kaya) is a college student and a swimmer with a talent to beat. She was a child prodigy but over the time family issues made her drift away emotionally. Her parents are divorced and her father, who was also her trainer, is now living alone in Florida.

The movie begins with Haley receiving a call from her elder sister who informs her that she is not able to contact their father Dave. A category five hurricane is approaching their home town and so she is worried about him. Haley immediately leaves for her home. At the outskirts of town, she is stopped by policemen stating that the storm is going to get worse. However, she dodges them and reaches her father's home. She finds the family dog Sugar there but Dave is missing. She finally decides to search for him at their old family home which is situated near a lake. Haley finally finds her father in an unconscious state with a wound to his leg in the crawl space below their house. However, before she could take him to safety, she is attacked by a large alligator. Barely surviving the animal's attack she retreats to a corner with her father who wakes up sometime later. It turns out that alligators have entered the crawl space through one of the storm drains. The storm gets worse and the crawl space begins to fill with water. Now Haley and her father need to race against time to save themselves from the rampaging weather as well as predators biding their time nearby.


There have been plenty of movies on crocodiles and/or alligators but most of them have been B-movie stuff. They relied more on gore and familiar horror movie tropes. Crawl is different from them and this feels pretty refreshing. The disaster setting with heavy winds and incessant rainfall gives the movie a distinct look from most of the crocodile movie that we have seen in recent years. The emphasis is firmly on its lead characters and over the time you start caring about them. The emotional connect elevates the movie from being just a normal monster-horror movie. But it's not like that the movie lacks thrills. There are plenty of scenes which will make you gasp. The tension is palpable throughout the movie and there is no excessive blood to put the viewers off. Technically the movie is very sound and the alligators, as well as the whole hurricane scenario, look completely authentic.

In the movies like these with very few characters, the focus is firmly on the lead protagonist and Kaya Scodelario delivers on the promise. Her character requires a vulnerability in situations when things are totally going out of hand and toughness when faced with certain death. Kaya does a brilliant job on both fronts. Rest actors are fine too. The direction of Alexandre Aja is polished and in the run time of 87 minutes, the movie hardly slows down with any unnecessary sequence.

In the end, I would say that if you are a monster-horror movie fan, you should check out Crawl in a cinema theatre near you.

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Author: Umesh26 Aug 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

A good review of the movie giving us the details about it for deciding to go to view it. The background of the movie is the fierce hurricane and in that situation one has to survive against so many odds. The only hope in such vulnerable times is the courage and will power to survive and if the director of movie has been successful in depicting that human attribute then the movie must be a watchable one.

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