Oh no, here’s another one.
This is one of those tedious movies that pass as horror films these days, or films in general really: wildly implausible, and carrying a bit of a whiff of Marvel super-heroics about it. Which, really, is getting tiresome now. Our heroine Haley (Kaya Scodelario) gets her leg bitten by an alligator, is flung around awhile with her leg in its jaws, then kicks herself free with her other leg, and later out-swims other alligators with said injured leg, stands, runs on it etc. She gets her right arm elbow-deep in the jaws of another alligator, shoots it in the head several times to get her arm free, later uses that arm for climbing, fighting, swimming etc. She gets mauled by another alligator with its jaws on her shoulder but frees herself again and climbs the side of a building onto the roof… yeah, mauled leg, mauled arm, mauled shoulder… who is she, Captain Marvel?
Her Dad (Barry Pepper), who Haley braved a hurricane to try and find/save, is just the same. She finds him in the basement/cellar of the old family home, unconscious having been mauled by an alligator, his abdomen slashed by teeth etc but he’s okay once woken up, and fixes his smashed leg with a wrench (auditioning for a Rambo reboot, maybe). Later he actually drowns in the flooded basement but his daughter smashes through the floorboards (!) to pull him up from his watery grave and revives him with CPR. A few minutes later he gets his forearm bitten off by another alligator, grits his teeth and ties himself an handy tourniquet with his free arm to stop the bleeding, climbs onto the roof etc.
These guys spend hours in freezing water, they should be blacking out with pain, trauma, delirious with exhaustion and blood loss… This film crashes the credibility barrier so early on and smashes any bullshit radar. This kind of super-heroics is getting increasingly prevalent these days, as if ordinary characters have to compete with Marvels spandex crusaders. Its so preposterous, so utterly insane, it almost threatens to be fun, but really, all the way through I’m thinking, “I’m being mugged here”. The only saving grace this film has is that it doesn’t use the family dog as ‘gator bait.
Quentin Tarantino apparently rated this as his best film of 2019. Either he didn’t see many movies that year, or he’s taking anyone who listens to him for a ride into la-la land. Can’t say it improves his critical standing in my book. Maybe he’s just trying to be controversial or something, or relevant until he gets a Marvel gig.
My advice, watch this movie with plenty of beers. On the subject of watery horrors, can Underwater be much worse?
If you’ve got a crate of cans or box of wine handy, Crawl is currently showing on Sky Cinema here in the UK.