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Review: Alligator flick 'Crawl' embraces its tasteless B-movie attitude

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures 


Alligators are on the prowl for blood in Alexandre Aja’s crunchy, B-movie trifecta “Crawl.” Aja, known for his work on the remake of both “The Hills Have Eyes” and “Piranha 3D,” has a keen sense of awareness when it comes to staging gory dismemberment's and making sure his Foley artists work overtime getting every last crunch and gulp for his picture. In this reptile vs human showdown, a category five hurricane is sweeping over the state of Florida (because their sports teams are named Gators duh) when aspiring pro-athlete/swimmer Haley Keller (an athletic Kaya Scodelario) decides to check on her Dad (Barry Pepper doing whatever it is Barry Pepper does) because he isn’t answering his phone. 

It’s a good thing she did considering, when she finds him knocked out, he’s missing a good chunk of flesh from his shoulder and there’s a swarm of angry crocodiles, who managed to slip through poorly constructed drain pipes, ready to feast on a human buffet. Meanwhile, Haley and pops are stuck in their basement figuring out ways to outsmart the beasts before the water levels go over their heads. It’s a dense claustrophobic thriller with the Gators looking convincing enough to cut above the likes of grungy Syfy channel wannabes and the craftsmanship can’t be denied.

You can tell producer Sam Rami (“The Evil Dead”) and Aja enjoy this genre as much as anyone, turning “Crawl” into a decent creature feature of the week that understands not to take itself too seriously. That said, I wish the human carnage was more beefed up and I could do without the whole family drama involving Haley’s mother disappearing from the scene. Did anyone tell the filmmakers we only come to see these films for the bloody mutilations? 

Grade: B-

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