A film like Crawl is one that I really welcome amidst the onslaught of summer blockbusters we get every year. A no-nonsense, crowd-pleasing horror that gets the audience jumping and screaming is exactly what Crawl is and I couldn't have been happier for it to be the latest secret screening provided by Cineworld.

When aspiring swimmer Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario) goes to check on her father, Dave (Barry Pepper), during a category 5 hurricane in Florida, she must battle against both the rising water and the alligators who have them both cornered in the crawl space beneath their home.
After a brief introduction to the lead character and her fractured relationship with her father, Alexandre Aja throws us right into the midst of the storm and doesn't let up on the suspense for a full ninety minutes. It's a film that doesn't weight itself down with unnecessary excess baggage, instead opting to keep it simple and provide a number of moments that'll make you jump and shout.

Maxime Alexandre's enclosed cinematography and music composed by Max Aruj and Steffen Thum kept me right on the edge of my seat throughout however, it's the performances from Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper that kept me invested in proceedings. There's much to this film than just crawling about the place looking terrified and the pair of them sell it beyond belief.

The gators looked a little suspect in places but I can forgive that when there's a number of gruesome deaths and plenty of gore to keep horror fans pleased. Crawl doesn't exactly do Florida a lot of favours in terms of tourism mind, combining its two biggest threats to well and truly put people off, much like Jaws probably had people staying out of the water for a whole summer back in the day.

Verdict: ★★★½


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