Crawl (2019)

They were here first

http://crawlmovie.com

When a huge hurricane hits her hometown in Florida, Haley ignores evacuation orders to look for her father. After finding him badly wounded, both are trapped by the flood. With virtually no time to escape the storm, they discover that rising water levels are the least of their problems.

2018 was a disappointing year for me. A lot of letdowns regarding my most anticipated movies, and not enough surprises throughout the year. 2019, on the other hand, has been quite interesting. Most blockbusters have resonated with me, and they’ve been my favorite films to watch so far (Avengers: Endgame, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, Us, Glass). Additionally, original low-budget flicks have also caught my eye, and I’ve been enjoying them as well, even if they’re no masterpieces (Greta, Long Shot). Although, I had some bad experiences as well (Dark Phoenix, Hellboy, Godzilla: King of the Monsters).
Crawl, which I honestly expected just to be a cliche-filled silly horror movie, joins this last group, and it’s on par with Long Shot as the best surprise of 2019, until now. First of all, this is not a typical horror film, at least having in mind the last few examples of the genre. People might go in expecting something along the lines of Annabelle Comes Home, but with alligators, so I might as well moderate those thoughts. I wouldn’t even place it in that genre, even though disaster-horror isn’t exactly a bad description. It’s definitely a suspense movie, almost like a survival-thriller. Haley and Dave have to fight for their lives in a race against both a hurricane and fatal predators, so I wouldn’t generally put this in the horror genre. Moving on …
I love this type of films, you know that. Suspenseful, claustrophobic sequences, straightforward plot, and set in (mostly) just one location. You might think that since it’s only one place to shoot and it’s such a simple concept, it’s easier overall, but it couldn’t be more distant from the truth. With high-budget, multiple-location movies, directors and screenwriters can hide their technical flaws with tremendous VFX or huge set pieces. In one location, especially such a small one like a modest house, there’s no hiding. If you want to deliver an entertaining and captivating story, you have to write an enthralling screenplay. If you want to provide scary and efficient jump scare scenes, you need to show some creativity and prove you’re a talented filmmaker.
Alexandre Aja, who doesn’t exactly has a remarkable filmography, showcases that even with such a simplistic and short idea, it’s possible to be as or more fun than a massive blockbuster. Less than 20 minutes into the film, and we’re on. There’s enough backstory and characterization of the main protagonist for the audience to not only care about Haley but understand what skills she has that will help her survive what comes next. I love small details like zooming in on her locking a door, closing a window, moving a piece of furniture … Every shot has meaning because it will affect the plot later on. Aja is not shooting something “just because”, and that’s a skill that a lot of directors struggle to have nowadays since they feel that the runtime needs to be close to the two-hour mark.
After so many dumb, cliche, and horribly performed jump scare sequences in previous horror flicks from this year, I finally got to watch a movie where the director knows how to truly scare people, and make them jump out of their chairs. There are no loud soundtrack noises to make you screech. There are no demons or monsters in front of the screen, screaming like crazy. I was at the edge of my seat for more than a couple of times, and I genuinely got scared on some particular moments, where the surprise factor (Aja doesn’t follow the cheap timings of most horror scenes) and the creativity behind the camera were top notch.
Obviously, the VFX and overall production design aren’t mind-blowing. The alligators look pretty real, and that was the main goal, so mission accomplished. Also, being Rated-R helps the film to deliver great alligator attacks with tons of blood, and the injuries our characters have to deal with are pretty gnarly and disgusting (that’s a compliment). Filming in water is extremely hard, especially in such a confined space. However, Aja and his crew were able to produce a movie where you can understand everything that’s going on for the entire runtime.
Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper deliver great performances and show amazing chemistry. Their characters have enough development, even if they don’t have that imaginative scripts. Crawl is one of those films where I can’t point out a preeminent issue with it because it’s good at every aspect. I mean, sure, there are a couple of rare moments of extreme survival, where we might think “he/she should be dead”, but it’s such a fun and entertaining time at the theater that we can let go of one or two over-the-top scenes. It’s not like The Meg, where every single moment is unrealistic as hell. The success of the fictional part of a fiction movie depends on its realistic foundation and limits. If these aren’t well-established, then the film will be all over the place, and its viewers won’t know what to believe or not.
All in all, Crawl is one of 2019’s best surprises, and I definitely recommend to see it in theaters. With compelling leads and a simple concept, Alexandre Aja delivers an entertaining, suspenseful, claustrophobic, and technically creative movie. Finally, someone who knows how to handle a camera, and provide genuinely scary jump scare sequences. Hopefully, this can catapult Kaya Scodelario to grab a bigger role on a more impactful film. I can’t point out any “flaws”, it’s simply a “good movie”. With such a low-budget, give a chance to this one, and watch it instead of a massive blockbuster that will probably leave you disappointed with the numerous cliches and the extreme focus on silly action or huge set pieces as a replacement for a good story. Good job, Paramount!
Rating: B+

Raimi Productions, Fire Axe Pictures, Serbia Creates Film, Ontario Creates by Alexandre Aja, Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen.
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson.

Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Thriller

Keywords: florida hurricane alligator animal attack flood animal horror crawlspace father daughter relationship

07/10/2019

Streaming Services

Hulu

Watch thousands of shows and movies. HBO®, SHOWTIME®, CINEMAX® and STARZ® are also available as add-ons. Starting at USD 5.99 / month and is a steal when we compare the streaming quality and the variety of services on offer. Hulu is gaining traction all over the world. In case you are not from the USA and still want to use Hulu to watch than using a decent VPN is one option that you must explore.

Youtube TV

Priced at USD 44.99 most of the significant channels are available on this app. Its a Google product hence the streaming quality under every kind of internet connection is just flawless. They are after-all the market leaders of online videos and live stream. Remember this is also a bundled service and provides for many good entertainment channels. Its a very reliable service, and people residing outside the USA should check for the availability of the channel in their country. If its not available then using a decent VPN service is the best bet.

PlayStation VUE

Priced at USD 44.99 per month. PlayStation Vue is all action and no nonsense streaming option out there. It provides an extraordinary live TV streaming experience. It is currently only available in the USA. In case you still want to use it a descent VPN service is recommended.

VPN Services

We have got solutions for you where you can use VPN’s to have access to the channels using your streaming service. Though you may find tons of VPN brands over the Internet, choosing the correct one can become difficult.

We have picked the best VPN brand for you so that you can peacefully watch sports from your home’s comfort.

ExpressVPN

We recommend using ExpressVPN to easily access a variety of channels anonymously and securely. ExpressVPN offer blazing-fast VPN speeds to watch on all devices, the best-in-class privacy protection and unlimited premium bandwidth. Get ExpressVPN now for 49% off their 12-month package at only $6.67/month and watch your favorite movies, shows and live streams!

  • Bypass geo-restrictions to access: Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, BBC iPlayer, iTV, Sky Go (Italy), Rai TV, Crackle, Showtime, Sling TV, FX, NBC, ABC, and more
  • The only provider that unblocks Netflix not just on the VPN, but also using SmartDNS on non VPN–compatible devices such as: Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and smart TVs
  • Unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee