During a Florida hurricane, Haley (Kayla Scodelario) heads home to track down her father Dave (Barry Pepper), who is not responding to phone calls. Upon arriving at her father’s house, Haley finds the family dog, Sugar, unattended. Exploring the property, Haley finds her father unconscious and wounded in the cramped basement. And he’s not alone – a giant alligator is keeping him company in the claustrophobic crawlspace. And it seems intent on preventing Haley or her dad from escaping. As the storm rages outside and the water level in the basement slowly rises, Haley and Dave’s situation goes from bad to worse in this nail-biting, self-aware thriller.
Unsurprisingly, Crawl is not suitable for young children, as it contains frequent depictions of terror, violence, and distress, as well as plenty of swearing. But for grown-ups looking to enjoy a popcorn thriller, it’s a great choice. The film never takes itself too seriously, but also avoids ever treating its story as a joke. Scodelario and Pepper give straight-faced performances as characters the audience will genuinely care about, helping to gloss over the numerous over-the-top elements of the film which help give it its cinematic sheen.
For guests looking to be thrilled, Crawl is an excellent rollercoaster of a movie. Just be sure to see it in a packed theatre – it’s a film that works best as a shared experience.