You know how sometimes your friends suck? Oh wait, some of my friends might be reading this. In that case: you guys suck sometimes. Like when I want them to go see a stupid movie with me. I couldn’t interest a single person in the movie Crawl. We can get a whole group together to see The Meg, but not one person for Crawl? Maybe I love creature features too much. Maybe I’m just more into seeing crappy b-movies on the big screen than everyone else. Whatever it is I’m glad I finally got to see Crawl, but maybe my friends were right after all.
When it was released I didn’t even know that this movie was produced by Sam Raimi, and directed by Alexandre Aja. If you don’t know him that’s the guy who did The Hills Have Eyes remake, Piranha 3D, and High Tension. So maybe the first two on that list aren’t the greatest, but High Tension was genuinely good. The ending was a little wacky, but if you haven’t seen it you definitely should. Anyway, if I’d known all this when Crawl came out I’d have paid one of my friends to go with me. I don’t have a problem seeing a movie alone, but I like company for horror movies.
Now that I’ve finally seen it what’s the verdict? Well it was absolutely something to watch with people, but not in the way I was expecting. The talking was more of a “wait, that doesn’t make any sense” kind of thing. At first I thought Crawl was a weird name. Bugs crawl, alligators sort of waddle or swim. In reality it’s more like the title came from the two main characters being in a crawlspace for most of the movie. But I guess I’m jumping ahead since you probably want to know how we got to that point in the first place. I don’t think we need to worry too much about spoilers. There really isn’t anything about this movie that will shock or surprise you.
We begin in Florida with an instantly unlikable swimmer named Haley. I guess she has to be a swimmer for the sake of the movie, but I don’t know why they made her unlikable. A hurricane is bearing down on the southern end of the state, and Haley has to go check on her father who is trying to ride out the storm alone. She’s out driving, and walking around (wearing flip flops no less) with a category 5 hurricane bearing down on them. I’ve never sat through a storm like that before, but even I know that isn’t how it works. Haley finds dad in a basement crawlspace just as the flood waters start to rise. Only a Florida man would come up with that kind of logic. The Weather Channel says to head for low ground in a flood right? Also for the sake of the movie homes in southern Florida have basements with drainage pipes large enough for a twenty foot alligator to walk through. Oh, and there are tons of decorative holes in the walls of this basement that let water pour in. None of that is correct or even slightly logical, but I guess that’s another point where we’re expected to suspend our disbelief. They expect a lot of that from the audience. Anyway, before she can escape with dad out pops a big ass alligator, and they’re trapped. What follows from there is a fight for survival as things go from bad to fucked.
Two people crawling away from giant alligators for 90 minutes would get boring fast. Thankfully the filmmakers knew that, and we get a few randos tossed in to get eaten for our viewing pleasure. There needed to be a lot more randos to keep the pacing going though. Or you can just go back to the scene towards the start of the movie where the girl drags her father around the crawlspace for a full fucking minute. That’s it. Just her grunting as she tries to drag her father to safety. For. One. Whole. Minute. I think they were trying to go for a claustrophobic vibe with the tight space, but also with a shit ton of twenty foot alligators thrown in for good measure. I honestly don’t know. I did learn a lot of stuff about alligators thanks to this movie. Mostly because I was looking things up on google when I just knew that they were doing something stupid. Fun fact #1: Michael Phelps can swim 6 miles an hour. An alligator can swim 20 MPH. So no collegiate swimmer is going to outpace one. Fun fact #2: an alligator can bite with over 2000 pound of pressure. So no one is getting bitten 3 separate times with only puncture wounds to show for it. Especially if one of those times is in the “death roll” that they commonly use to dismember their prey. Fun fact #3: alligators do not hunt by vibrations. They can see and hear extremely well underwater so standing still doesn’t do anything besides make you easier to catch. There are also plenty of hurricane facts that I didn’t need to look up because I’m not a complete idiot. Like, trying to scream for help to the people across the street won’t do any good in 150 MPH winds. And, if the current is strong enough for your car to float away there’s no way you can just walk through that water. Speaking of water…if you’re submerged in flood water for that long you’re probably going to get cold. Maybe not hypothermia (probably though), but you’d at least be shivering your ass off. Rescue helicopters do not fly in those conditions. That’s why they told you to evacuate when you had the chance moron.
So Crawl was pretty much nothing that I wanted it to be. No exciting popcorn munching roller-coaster, but at least I can mark it off my list. The CGI wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t enough to sell me on something I won’t want to see again. The few deaths that there were had a decent amount of blood, but there needed to be many more deaths. There was not one bit of dialogue that was memorable or even worth mentioning. Hopefully I’ve saved anyone out there who was on the fence from wasting $2 at Redbox (or even worse, $6 from your cable provider). If you do feel the need to see it, I suggest you wait for Netflix. I’m sure that won’t be too long. Hey, you can go watch Lake Placid while you wait. I promise you’ll have much more fun.