Crawl (2019 film)
Crawl is a 2019 American disaster horror film directed by Alexandre Aja and written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen. It stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper as a daughter and father, who along with their dog are hunted by alligators after becoming trapped in their home during a Category 5 hurricane.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alexandre Aja|
|Edited by||Elliot Greenberg|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$91.5 million|
The film was announced in May 2018, with Sam Raimi producing through his Raimi Productions banner, and Aja attached as director. Scodelario and Pepper joined the cast in July 2018, with other actors being added later that summer. Principal photography began in August 2018 and wrapped in September 2018.
The film was theatrically released in the United States on July 12, 2019, by Paramount Pictures. It has grossed $90.5 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the performances (particularly Scodelario) and called it "satisfying and a lot of fun."
Aspiring University of Florida swimmer Haley Keller receives a call from her sister, Beth, who informs her that Category 5 Hurricane Wendy is on a collision course with Florida and advises her to get out of the state. Haley is concerned for the safety of her father Dave, as he is not answering his phone. Against the instructions of Florida State Police, Haley drives around evacuation routes to check in on Dave. She first goes to his condo, where he has been living since he and her mother divorced. Haley finds the family dog Sugar at the condo but not Dave himself and is worried that he has returned to the family home in Coral Lake, which he supposedly sold years ago.
Haley and Sugar navigate the flooded streets and find Dave's truck at the Coral Lake house. There, she descends into the crawl space underneath the house while leaving Sugar upstairs, and eventually finds her father unconscious and wounded. When she tries to drag him out, her exit is cut off by large and ravenous alligators that Dave believes got into the house via a storm drain open to the crawl space. The alligators are too large to fit around the pipes under the house, allowing Haley and Dave a safe area at the far end of the crawl space. However, the hurricane intensifies and the crawl space begins to flood, so Haley attempts to navigate around the alligators before she and her father drown.
While attempting to escape the crawl space and fending off the alligators, Haley drops her phone (which gets crushed by an alligator) and discovers that the secondary exit to the crawl space is blocked by a box on top of the hatch. She tries to contact a group of looters in a gas station opposite the house for help, but they get killed by alligators. She is also helpless to stop the alligators from attacking and killing two police officers who investigate the house for survivors. Dave manages to kill an alligator by splitting its head open with a shovel, but gets trapped. In a last-ditch effort to escape, Haley makes her way to the storm drain, where she discovers that the alligators have made their nest and laid eggs. Haley successfully kills the other alligator using a gun retrieved from the body of one of the police officers, shooting down the alligator's throat when it nearly bites her hand off and makes it upstairs, crow-barring the living room floor open and saving Dave from drowning in the basement.
Free of the crawl space, Haley, Dave and Sugar procure the looters' boat just as the eye of the hurricane moves over the neighborhood. However, the floodwaters break the nearby levees, flooding Coral Lake even more and crashing them back into the house, where they get separated. While Dave and Sugar make their way up the stairs, Haley navigates around the kitchen and uses a discarded police radio to broadcast a distress signal to authorities.
After retrieving a set of road flares and saving Sugar from being attacked, Dave loses an arm to one of the alligators, Haley attempts to flag down a rescue helicopter from an upstairs bedroom but is attacked by another alligator, which attempts to drown her in a death roll. While Dave and Sugar escape to the attic, Haley stabs the alligator in the eye with a flare and attempts to swim to the roof from the outside of the house, narrowly avoiding being mauled by a fourth alligator before it gets swept away. Haley lights a flare and flags down the rescue helicopter as Dave and Sugar watch.
- Kaya Scodelario as Haley Keller, a student-athlete
- Barry Pepper as Dave Keller, a home contractor and Haley's father
- Ross Anderson as Wayne Taylor, a police officer and Beth's ex-boyfriend
- Anson Boon as Stan, a looter
- Jose Palma as Pete, a police officer and Wayne's partner
- George Somner as Marv
- Ami Metcalf as Lee
- Morfydd Clark as Beth Keller, Haley's older sister who lives in Boston
- Annamaria Serda as Emma
- Savannah Steyn as Lisa
On May 1, 2018, Paramount Pictures announced Alexandre Aja would direct the film with Kaya Scodelario starring. Principal photography began in August 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia, and wrapped up the following month. The visual effects were provided by Rodeo FX and supervised by Thomas Montminy Brodeur and Keith Kolder.
Originally slated for a United States release on August 23, 2019, the film was later moved up to July 12, 2019.
Crawl grossed $39 million in the United States and Canada, and $51.2 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $90.5 million, against a production budget of $13.5 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Stuber, and was projected to gross $10–13 million from 3,170 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $4.3 million on its first day, including $1 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $12 million, finishing third at the box office. The film was not screened in advance for critics, and it was speculated by some publications the eventual positive reception would have led to a larger opening had reviews been available sooner. In its second weekend, the film made $6 million, dropping just 50%, better-than-average for a horror film.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 82% based on 181 reviews, with an average rating of 6.47/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "An action-packed creature feature that's fast, terrifying, and benefits greatly from a completely game Kaya Scodelario, Crawl is a fun throw-back with just enough self-awareness to work." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on reviews from 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 2.5 out of 5 stars and a 46% "definite recommend."
Angelica Jade Bastien of New York praised the film, saying, "Crawl is a great example of a simple story exceedingly well-told. It’s a bloody adventure full of teeth-gnawing turns of fortune, mordant wit, vicious gator kills, and surprising tenderness — that clocks in at a blessedly fleet 87 minutes. It’s a perfect horror film for the summer, as much an ode to the cataclysmic, humbling aspects of Mother Nature as it is a love letter to father-daughter relationships." Jim Vejvoda of IGN wrote, "Crawl is a fun albeit familiar human vs. beast movie, one that gets plenty of mileage out of its setting and people’s deep-set fear of being eaten." He cautioned that fans of Alexandre Aja might be surprised at how mainstream Crawl is compared to his more gruesome horror films. As of November 2019, Quentin Tarantino called Crawl his favorite film of 2019 so far.
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