Now Playing – CRAWL

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Edwin Callihan is a lifelong film enthusiast who works next door to Kyova 10 Theater.

Are you tired of ghost stories like The Conjuring? Find yourself with a headache in films like Us and Hereditary? Do you want to have fun at the movies again? You are in luck! Caution! SPOILERS AHEAD!

The most recent string of theatrical releases has been severely lacking, as I refer to them, killer animals movies. This subgenre contains several classic films such as Snakes on a Plane, Man’s Best Friend, and Eight Legged Freaks, The list could go on forever, but I’m sure you already knew that, and this summer your patience will be rewarded. Finally, a film that delivers us the glory days of flicks like Bats or Anaconda. It’s been since Lake Placid that we got a good gator flick. Regardless, you will think twice about flyin’ south for summer vacation. Trust me, it is not because of Sharknado– I’m referring to Alexandre Aja’s new alligator thriller Crawl!

This film begins with a member of the University of Florida swim team, Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario), losing a competition that seems to deeply trouble her on a personal level. Shortly after she receives a call from her sister informing her of their estranged father’s disappearance during a category five hurricane hitting the southern coast of Florida. During flashback sequences, we are introduced to Haley’s father, Dave Keller, portrayed by Barry Pepper (The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan), who was once the swimming coach and pushed her to excel in her talent just a little too much. Nevertheless, she trudges through the treacherous storms and soon arrives at their dilapidated family home. Haley only finds their dog, Sugar, but, luckily leads Haley under the house where she finds her father unconscious and severely injured. By what you ask? Just two enormous alligators with a rather angry appetite for flesh. As the water rises, as does the body count, Haley, her father, and Sugar struggle to survive while being trapped by the hurricane while the reptilian menace lurks in the murky flood waters that surround the home. Do you think they will survive? I suppose you will have to find out for yourself! 

Alexandre Aja’s is known for his gritty thrillers like High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes(2006) albeit the seemingly horrifying premise of a nest of alligator’s terrorizing people trapped in crawl space filling with water it is actually a rather lighthearted film. Although receiving an R rating the film refrains from excessive amounts of gore and sticks to the brooding suspense of what hides in the shallows. The film’s cinematography is magnificently executed through the use of lighting juxtapositioned with special effects that would only be exceeded if they were to use actual alligators. We all know alligators are horrible actors, right? Blending the disaster film with the killer animal genre, the tense atmosphere will leave you not just at the edge of your seat, but shouting at the screen. Don’t worry, you’ll jump back in that comfy chair once you see a pair of gator jaws snap quicker than a rat trap. Don’t spill all the Cola and Popcorn as I did— you’ll need that to calm you down!

Unlike many films that are being released this summer under the guise of horror, it captures the essence of classic blockbuster films like Jaws or The Birds with memorable jump scares, tension, and creative character development. It’s scary, suspenseful, and a blast at the theater.

I recommend that you make your way to Kyova 10 Theater, grab some nachos or candy(perhaps both) at the concession, and see Crawl. You can see it daily (12:25), (2:50), (5:50), 7:35, 10:00 at KYOVA 10 THEATER.

– Edwin Callihan –

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