31 Days of Horror – ‘Crawl’

Killer croc thriller delivers the genre goods, earns rave from a Hollywood icon

Crocodiles don’t get the genre love that sharks do, but Hollywood still finds something scary about the critters.

Modern croc romps like “Rogue,” “Lake Placid” and “Black Water” stoked our fears of these scaly beasts. We’re still waiting for the crocodile equivalent of “Jaws,” the movie that sets the bar impossibly high for the sub-genre.

“Crawl” didn’t do the trick, but it’s still a creature feature worth your while.

Crawl (2019) – Official Trailer – Paramount Pictures

Kaya Scodelario stars as Haley, a collegiate swimmer who returns home to check on her estranged father (Barry Pepper). A major tropical storm is threatening his neighborhood, and she wants to make sure he’s prepared.

Good call.

Not only is Dad incapacitated, but the waters flooding his neighborhood bring some unwanted visitors into his home.

Crocs. And boy, are they famished.

The father-daughter dynamic keeps the croc-free sequences fresh, and setting much of the movie in the flooded home’s crawl space proved a stroke of genius.

Director Alexandre Aja (“High Tension,” the “Hills Have Eyes” remake) shared his secret to films like “Crawl” and how he tried to upend genre cliches in the process.

I think it’s a key of survival movies is when you expect something, something else happens and everything goes wrong every time. And so you really, really feel that they have no chance to make it to the end of the day.

“Crawl” sounds like something the Syfy network might crank out on the tiniest budget possible, but the horror flick had two powerful friends. The first is “Evil Dead” legend Sam Raimi, who instantly warmed to the script and served as a producer on the project.

The other?

 Quentin Tarantino said “Crawl” just might be his favorite film of 2019, the same year “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker” and “Uncut Gems” hit theaters.

31 Days of Horror:

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