If your jonesing for a monster movie fix before heading out to Toronto After Dark this week, Paramount Canada has you covered with the creature feature thrill ride, Crawl.
Running at a brisk 87 minutes, the film puts you in ht jaws of the beast, as what sounds like a very plausible horror (?) story plays out on the screen.
Set in Florida, a young woman on a swimming scholarship, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) travels home to check on her estranged father, Dave (Barry Pepper). In the middle of a category five hurricane.
Returning to the old family home, she finds him trapped in the crawlspace under the house (I personally have always had a problem with dirt floor basements – I find them terrifyingly creepy) and he’s not alone. As the storm strikes, the waters rise, and man finds out he may not be the apex predator he thought he was.
You see, Haley and her father end up sharing the space not only with the constantly rising water, but with a pair of dangerous, and hungry gators. The pair not only have to gave the onslaught of mother nature, not only with the weather, but with one of the most dangerous reptiles on the planet.
Taking its time with character moments and setting up pay offs, the story moves fast, the gators strike quick, and there’s a fair amount of gore and blood. It’s a fun ride, that asks you only to believe until the next moment as you work your way through the bag of popcorn that is a necessity for this sort of film.
Featuring solid visual effects work, though there is some pretty heavy green screen work (I mean you can’t film in the middle of an actual tropical storm), the film is an entertaining monster movie that shows that sometimes you don’t have to go the supernatural route to find something truly scary.
The blu-ray looks and sounds great, and has a solid wealth of extras including a motion comic to gives us an alternate opening, deleted and extended scenes, a look at the visual effects used not only to create the gators but also the storm that traps Haley and her dad.
The film, although a tense popcorn thrill machine, has a bit of grounded terror in it, because it puts the events in a home, a home that could be your home.
Now, arguments and nitpicks have been made that Florida homes generally don’t have basements or that the alligators don’t behave like they would in reality (did Bruce the Shark behave like other Great Whites?), but that’s not the point. This is supposed to be fun, escapist, monster entertainment. And as such it works, and serves as a perfect appetizer to this week’s Toronto After Dark film festival.
Crawl is available from Paramount Canada today on blu and DVD.