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Crawl (Kaya Scodelario) - DVD Review

Crawl

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ALEXANDRE Aja brought bite and fun to his remake of Piranha a few years ago. He repeats the trick with Crawl, a suitably exciting slice of alligator-themed horror.

Kaya Scodelario stars as Haley, a swimmer with confidence issues, who decides to head into a hurricane zone in search of her absentee father (Barry Pepper).

Once there, she finds him injured and trapped in his basement having been mauled by an alligator, which is still lurking in the shadows as the water levels start to rise.

The script, from brothers Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, subsequently divides its time between father-daughter bonding and the race against time scenario presented by the rising water, which in turn continually gives the gator an edge.

And it’s to Aja’s credit that he balances both aspects well, offering up a pair of central characters worth rooting for as well as some suitably tense set pieces and the odd grisly moment.

He also plays cleverly on genre requirement, tossing in a few easy extras as gator bait, as well as a loveable pet who may or may not make it.

At a brisk 90 minutes, the film is also suitably lean and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, finding enough pressure cooker scenarios without placing too much of a strain on credibility. And even when it does take liberties, it’s sly enough to wink at the audience.

The gator sequences are nicely staged, with a couple of well orchestrated jumps, and there’s plenty of gory wounds to bring on the winces.

But Aja seldom feels like he’s being gratuitous, either in his use of violence or deployment of his heroine. Rather, Scodelario’s heroine is suitably determined, always clothed while also tapping into a believable line in vulnerability.

Pepper also provides solid support as the equally durable Dad, providing pep talks and encouragement while also getting to explore his shortcomings.

Hence, while Crawl isn’t quite the alligator equivalent of Jaws, it sits comfortably alongside the likes of The Shallows and Black Water as a solid, highly entertaining and even slightly empowering horror thriller that has plenty of bite.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 89mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: December 16, 2019

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