“Crawl” (2019)

This film is proof that you can still make an entertaining, old-fashioned Jaws-esque creature feature; you just need to have someone behind the camera who actually knows what they’re doing. Directed by Alexandre Aja, who also directed the cheesy, gloriously over-the-top Piranha 3D, he definitely seems to have an understanding of how to wring genuine tension out of a film like this, namely by filling the cast with sympathetic characters, and striking the perfect balance of not taking itself too seriously, but also grounding the film. It also helps that he knows how to handle an effective jump scare. The film also manages to work in some clever subversion with the typical “creature horror” conventions, making the film feel a little bit more fresh than it had any right to be. Does it have problems? Yes. The CG on the alligators usually doesn’t look very convincing, the characters sometimes act stupidly to artificially raise the tension, and the film sometimes forgets about the extent of how bad character’s injuries are. But overall, this is a quick, fast-paced, entertaining film, that will almost assuredly please any creature feature fan.

Rating: 4/5


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