By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
I have never experienced a Category 5 hurricane and hope I never will. However, I do know that if I lived in a hurricane prone state and was told by weather experts, city officials and first responders about one touching down and I would have to evacuate my home, I’d get out as fast as I could. I wouldn’t want to, but I would.
Of course, there are always those folks who don’t listen and believe they can ride out the thing. Most all the time, it doesn’t end well for them.
Well, that’s part of the premise behind the new movie, “Crawl”
from director Alexandre Aja (“The Hills Have Eyes” and “Piranha 3D”).
But, it has an even juicier twist to it.
Residents of Gainesville Florida have been warned about a fierce hurricane. Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario, TV’s “Spinning Out”) lives there and is an all-star swimmer at the University of Florida. Right before the hurricane hits, Haley gets a phone call from her sister Beth (Morfydd Clark, TV’s “The Alienist”) who says their father Dave (Barry Pepper, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure”) is missing and isn’t answering his phone.
Haley tells her that she’ll drive over to his house and check. As she does, the weather intensifies with heavy rain and wind. Before heading up the road to the place, she’s stopped by the police and is told to turn around because it’s unsafe and they won’t be able to rescue her.
Although Haley knows the officer and tells him she just wants to quickly check on her dad, he won’t let her through.
When she turns her car around, she decides to go through the barrier anyway which forces the officer to pursue her. Haley reaches her father’s house and goes inside only to find his dog barking like crazy. She sees some tools he was recently using too. As she snoops around and calls out for him, she notices he was doing something near the kitchen sink and had gone into a crawl space under the house.
Kaley climbs her way under as the mud and water starts to fill up quickly. She finds her father unconscious and bloody. When she tries to pull him out of the area, she notices a huge gash on his shoulder and his leg has been badly bitten. When she finally revives him, he tells her a gigantic alligator attacked him. Oh my!
Turns out there isn’t just one of these humongous, hungry gators, but three that are waiting to sink their teeth into them. It becomes a desperate fight to survive.
Haley and Dave are tougher and smarter than you might expect. They make no hasty and silly moves. It’s a good thing that Haley is an expert and fast swimmer too.
Director Alexandre Aja knows how to ramp up the fright factor. He zeroes in on the claustrophobic and dark spaces that Haley gets trapped in.
Each time it seems as if there’s a way out for them, some very believable obstacles thwart all their decisions.
At one point it looks like help is on the way when Haley sees a family at a convenience store. Problem is, they’re helping themselves to everything inside including the ATM machine. They take it completely out of the wall and load it on their boat.
Just when they thought they were getting away, the alligators jump in and chomp them to death. It’s one of many thrilling scenes in this movie.
Best of all, the alligators in “Crawl” look so real and are so terrifying. Kaya Scodelario is just perfect and convincingly sells every
I won’t give any clues as to who makes it out alive, but trust me, you’ll want to hold on to your popcorn extra tight during the last half hour.
I’m not sure why Paramount Pictures didn’t screen “Crawl” in advance for critics or heavily promote it. It’s a splendid, little B movie. Make that a B+ movie.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Watch This Thrilling Trailer For "CRAWL"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of The Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.