December 11-12, 2021
Things escalate quickly in the upcoming horror thriller, CRAWL, which centres around Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario) and her father, Dave (Barry Pepper). A massive hurricane hits their Florida hometown and despite evacuation orders, Haley goes in search of her missing father.
That premise alone is enough to drive a feature film, but with director Alexandre Aja onboard, who is no stranger to the horror genre having worked on The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D, Horns and more, things take a turn very quickly.
The two become trapped within a house by quickly encroaching floodwaters, and as if that wasn’t enough, they’re not alone – deadly alligators lurk in the rising floodwaters.
It’s a relatively simple premise, but also brilliant in that it’s not so far-fetched a situation; part of CRAWL’s promotion leading up to its premiere is highlighting just how frequently alligators make their way into homes in Florida, while also offering up terrifying facts about the animal (“alligators have natural night vision – they can track prey in total darkness”) – not to mention how often the state is hit with torrential storms.
The use of underwater shots from cinematographer Maxime Alexandre (The Nun, Annabelle: Creation) adds another layer of brilliance to the film and is the perfect way for viewers to see each character’s (possible) impending demise. Overall, Alexandre’s work here is remarkable and interesting, with different angles and lighting effects making the film more realistic.
Such filmmaking techniques place the audience right in the middle of the action, drilling fear into them as they wait to see who’s going to be claimed by the jaws of death and who’s going to survive. Handheld and stationary recording of the film also gives a realistic first-person perspective of someone who is trapped in such conditions. Regardless of the alligators waiting in the depths, the film plays on the real-life fear of drowning.
It will be exciting to see a fresh take on a horror film starring these prehistoric predators (with the added danger of a natural disaster). Whether you see the film due to a love of the horror genre or because you simply think it looks intriguing, it will no doubt make a big splash.
CRAWL was named one of TIME’s most anticipated movies of 2019, and it’s not hard to see why after watching the trailer (warning: not for the faint of heart, rated MA15+).
In cinemas JULY 11.