Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
Creature features are a bit love of mine going all the way back to the the classics, like Creature from the Black Lagoon. There’s just something intensely exciting about a big nasty monster coming out of nowhere and terrorizing us poor humans. I especially like overgrown beasts that exist in reality, so I was kind of hoping that Crawl would turn out to be a fun film. Sadly the world of monster movies has essentially devolved into SyFy channel movies like Sharknado, or the silliness and over the top gore of the Piranha movies. I mean, they have their place in entertainment, but I love a good tense thriller, and was greatly surprised to find that Crawl hit all of the right spots. An intense monster, good acting, and a lean run time that doesn’t bog itself down with extraneous characters and poorly placed humor.
Collegiate swimmer Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario) gets a call from her sister Beth (Morfydd Clark) regarding their estranged father Dave (Barry Pepper), who is living alone out in South Florida. There’s a category 5 hurricane coming his way, and Dave isn’t picking up his phone. Frustrated at her father, Haley decides to go down to their childhood home and check on him, only to find him seemingly missing. Investigating further Haley finds her father under the house in the basement, badly wounded and unconscious. Attempting to pull her father back up into the house where she can get him to a hospital, the two are confronted with the REASON that her father is lying wounded in the basement. A gigantic gator who drives the two back behind a set of pipes where they are temporarily safe.
With the water levels rising from the storm, and the gator on the outside of the pipes, Dave and Haley have to figure out a way to get out of there, stat. The only thing is, there’s not one, but SEVERAL gators who have crawled into the basement and they’re not about to let Haley get out of there easily. With time running out, the water climbing higher, and more gators milling around outside, Haley’s window to save herself and her father is slowly closing.
While there’s a few other characters in the film (usually to get munched on), this is a two character movie. Dave and Haley take up 99% of the human interaction, and it works to the advantage of the film. The two of them (and the gators) are right in your view the entire time, leaving very little downtime to get to know other people, thus you’re constantly worried and invested in their survival (well, along with their dog, cuz no one wants the pup to get eaten). The underground basement scenario that the two are put in is absolutely perfect too. It’s a maze of pipes and dirty caverns and hideaways that make it perfect for the two humans to try and stay reasonably safe from the giant gators who are too big to fit in some places. Luckily the entire film doesn’t stay there, allowing for them to mix things up a bit, and the constant filling up of water changes the advantages for both the creatures and the humans several times throughout the movie.
Rated R for bloody creature violence, and brief language
One point of contention that I must make is the dialog. It’s mixed about 4 DB’s lower than normal. Meaning you either have to boost the center in your receiver, or just raise the volume 4 DB’s on the receiver. This puts the rest of the track a bit on the hot side, but with the insanity of the storm that sort of drowning out of the vocals seems to fit in with the motif. Still, dialog is still very intelligible, and the dynamic range is beyond ridiculous, but I would have preferred the dialog to be a bit more balanced than it was with the rest of the track.
• Alternate Opening
• Alligator Attacks
• Beneath Crawl - Featurette
• Category 5 Gators: The VFX of Crawl - Featurette
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
Crawl was a complete and total surprise to me. I expected a mediocre creature feature, but ended up with an intensely thrilling flick that kept my heart pounding the entire time. It’s not designed to be a highly adept drama with multiple facets, but rather a monster movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time, and in that regards it completely accomplishes its mission. The Blu-ray features fantastic video and amazing audio, but the extras are a tad slimmer than normal. All in all, this is a fun monster movie with just enough gore, just enough tension, and a wildly kinetic pace that doesn’t over stay its welcome. Highly recommended as a fun watch.
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark, Ross Anderson, Jose Palma, George Somner, Anson Boon
Directed by: Alexandre Aja
Written by: Shawn and Michael Rasmussen
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Japanese DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Simplified), Thai
Runtime: 88 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: October 15th, 2019
Recommendation: Very Fun Watch