Crawl (2019) is a hell of a good time

Starring Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper

A daughter goes looking for her dad in a hurricane and finds a whole mess of alligators. Who knew this might be the best horror of the year?

Director Alexandre Aja became prominent with psychological horror thrillers like High Tension and self aware monster flicks like Piranha 3D. In Crawl, he flexes both those muscles to create a great little monster movie that's better than it needs to be. Haley (Kaya Scodelario) leaves her swimming practice in a hurricane to go look for her father (Barry Pepper). She finds him trapped under the house, hunted by several alligators. As the basement begins to flood, Haley and her dad battle the gator menace while watching looters and rescue workers get taken out by the way over the top pissed off reptiles. The story bounces back and forth between a tight thriller with a countdown clock (it's a big ass hurricane coming bringing all the water) and a grisly visceral violent ballet. Bites matter when they need to, showing off blood and breaking bones. Then when Haley needs to swim or her dad needs to fight back, all injuries are put aside. Make no mistake, getting bitten by a ten foot gator in this movie means a lot until it doesn't, and that's okay. Horror movies are made on less. For the most part, I believed that these characters would fight back with everything they had. That belief carried me much farther than my actual knowledge of how alligators and hurricanes behave. As Haley fights the alligators, she elicited several "fuck yeahs" and fist pumps from the audience I saw it with. She's strong, badass, and yet vulnerable enough to think that maybe she won't make it out okay. There's enough character failures here for any semblance of triumph to be great.

A no-duh double feature with last year's Hurricane Heist, Crawl creates enough atmosphere and self awareness to make its runtime fly by.

The Hurricane Heist
Starring Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson, Melissa Bolona
Piranha 3D
Starring Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O'Connell

Piranha 3D (2010) Movie Review that proves people love boobs. I mean, fish. Wait, no, boobs.

Long ago in my life, an older cousin or friend or creepy guy, I don't remember who it was actually. We were in an alley. Anyway. He sat me down and we watched a Porky's and Friday the 13th double feature. After that, I realized that you can have a boner and be scared at the same time.

    Piranha 3D fails at the scares, but it reaches for the boner at every turn. As Stephen King once sorta said, when you can't horrify, scare them, and when you can't to that go for the gross out. What better way to gross out an audience than small fish monsters.

    It's spring break and the town of wherever the fuck is having boob day on the water. There's a kid who wants to see boobs, his mom slash sheriff who wants to protect people while hanging with a scientist, and a boob-video maker weirdo who used to be the fat kid from Stand By Me. Where can you go wrong?

    If you come to Piranha 3D looking for characters or plot or that normal movie crap, then check your bags at the door. Why did you even bring bags? You're a weirdo. Just sit down and watch the naked people get eaten with the rest of us. Maybe get fucked up first. With friends, if you have any. I watched this alone.