By James Davidson

“Crawl” is an action horror movie that explores the terror of being trapped in a storm surrounded by terrifying giant alligators. Kaya Scodelario plays Haley, a college swimmer at the University of Florida. Haley decides, despite the approach of a giant hurricane, to drive two hours into the storm to check up on her father, Dave (played by Barry Pepper). Neither Haley or her sister, Beth, have heard from their father in a few days and are worried he might be stuck in the storm. Upon arriving at her childhood home, Haley discovers her father is stuck in the crawl space of the house after being attacked by a giant alligator. The two quickly discover that the approaching storm and imminent flood are not their only concern, there are many other alligators invading the neighborhood with the flood waters, and they are on the hunt.

After I saw the previews for this film, I thought it looked like a cheesy, ridiculous, horror movie that could be fun to watch. I was surprised by the quality of the movie. The acting was above par; Scodelario and Pepper were essentially the only two characters in most of the movie since the majority of the film happens in the crawl space of their house. They both did an excellent job playing their respective roles and were very believable as a father and daughter with a few relationship problems.

The plot itself, while completely ridiculous, was very engaging. The premise of giant alligators invading neighborhoods and hunting humans unprovoked is utterly ridiculous. But it was not boring at all and there was plenty of action throughout the film. The action scenes were exhilarating and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire movie. The movie was only an hour and twenty-seven minutes and very fast-paced with plenty of action which made it an easy watch.

While the action is great, the filmmakers take quite a few liberties with the story. In typical action/horror movie fashion, the actions of the characters and the physics of some of the stunts that they pull are highly questionable. As long as you are not expecting a realistic, thought provoking movie; it’s very enjoyable and fun to watch.

I really enjoyed the writing and development of the characters. I was surprised at the quality of the writing in this movie. While there weren’t many characters, the two main protagonists were very well-written and developed. They both had their issues, some with each other and some as individuals, and the experience that they share in this movie brings them closer together and helps them face their problems together.

There is a good bit of blood and gore that go along with the alligator attacks, earning this movie an “R” rating. The gore along with some brief language make this movie inappropriate for families with younger children, but it would begreat fun for a night out with friends.

“Crawl” is a fun, popcorn film that is surprisingly well-written with plenty of action. As long as you don’t go into it expecting a thought-provoking, realistic movie; it’s very enjoyable and a great choice to go see with friends. I probably won’t buy this when it comes out, but I would definitely like to watch this again and it would be worth renting for a movie night. It earns 3 out of 5 stars.

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