I am not sure why this movie is called Crawl. Maybe because the majority of it was set in a crawl space underneath a house . . . filled with alligators. Yes, Crawl is a film about two schmucks, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) and Dave (Barry Pepper), trapped under a house in the middle of a hurricane with a pack of lizards bent on making a meal of them all while also trying to avoid drowning. It was, to borrow an old phrase, theater of the absurd.
Or was it? At the heart of Crawl was the strained relationship between Haley and her father, Dave. Her parents are divorced, Haley blames the break up on the attachment her father has towards her, and they had not spoken for a while. Reluctantly, when dad did not pick up his phone as the hurricane approached, Haley goes to check on him and falls into the predicament mentioned above. The resulting realizations and epiphanies that happen along the along make for a reasonable character arc.
I despise when, in the middle of chaotic, action-packed scenes the characters take the time to have expository dialog about problems that are not germane to their immediate survival. Alligators are swarming all around Haley and Dave and they are discussing who is more to blame for the collapse of Mr. and Mrs. Gator-bait’s marriage. That is what ultimately makes a movie like Crawl just stupid. It warms my heart to see a father and a daughter patch things up. After all, the saying “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” comes from the Bible. But neither should you let your anger disappear down the gullet of a leathery creature with snapping jaws.
There really is not much else to say about Crawl. There are alligators, a hurricane, and anyone who wanders near the house who is not a main character gets eaten. The rest is predictable and boring. I could, as a Florida resident, go into some of the details about my state the movie got right and wrong. Nah, though I will mention that at one point there are levees that break. The only real levees in Florida are those around Lake Okeechobee, and that is not where this movie is set. I will stop there, though, and end on one positive note: the dog survived!