CREDIT: Sergej Radović/Paramount Pictures

I don’t particularly enjoy close-up shots of cinematic animals being killed or injured, even if those beasts are the predatory antagonists. And even, apparently, if they are as merciless as the alligators in Crawl. We already know from Piranha 3D that Alexandre Aja knows how to effectively craft a creature feature, but that experience is not sufficient preparation for his latest. Fish faces do not generate empathy in the way that gators do, and a mass of stereotypical beachgoers getting chomped apart in ridiculous fashion is more comical than visceral. Crawl, on the other hand, is a much more intimate affair, maintaining a singular focus on a father-daughter duo stuck at the bottom of a house in the middle of a hurricane. You might find yourself laughing from the consistently clutch timing of the kills, if you can remind yourself that this is just a movie. But man, considering that this doesn’t look all that different from the future, or really the present, of the southeastern United States, it’s hard to sit still.

I give Crawl 7.5 Ripped Limbs out of 10 Chomps.

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