Theatrical Release: July 19, 2019


The Dove Take:

Disaster creature feature has gators, violence, and language galore.

Dove Review

The Synopsis:

A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

The Review:

Haley’s working to stay afloat. There’s a whole lot going on for her right now. As a swimmer, her scholarship’s on the line. There’s drama in the family, as her parents’ divorce looms like a storm cloud. And now, there’s the hurricane. You know what makes things extra stressful? The deadly alligators. The ones that have injured and trapped Haley and her dad in the basement of their house as the hurricane gets stronger.

Crawl sets reasonable creature feature expectations and delivers. Sharp-toothed antagonists? Check. Disaster scenes? Check. Jump-scares? Check. All in less than an hour and a half? Check, again. There’s excitement and fun (as well as some impressive aquatic orchestration), balanced by clichés and implausibility. It’s as immediately consumable and familiar as theater popcorn.

Though not totally confined to the house, much of Crawl is the nature version of a home invasion. Daughter and dad fight to survive as their house becomes an increasing hurricane of horrors. And it’s in the midst of their home’s destruction that there might be some symbolism at play. Could it be that the destruction of the pre-divorce era house represents or reflects the destruction of the family that once was? As the house is challenged by chaos, so too is their family challenged? Is their fight to beat the terrifying chaos both immediate and metaphorical? Or is it simply a backdrop for violent alligator terror, jump-scares, and mayhem? The answer might be floating somewhere amidst Crawl. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a smart swim for everyone.

There’s plenty of alligator violence, blood, jump-scares, and language. Crawl is not Dove Approved.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: Characters seek to help each other, even in danger; the idea of self-confidence.
Sex: Mention of a character being “caught” with a guy
Language: GD-1; G/OMG-7; F-4; S-17; SOB-1; “butt”; “freaking”
Violence: Violent alligator attacks resulting in bloody deaths and injuries, sometimes in closeup; a messy corpse; a character’s arm is bitten off; a gun is shot at, and into, alligators; characters have to deal with wounds; hurting alligators.
Drugs: A bottle of alcohol; a bottle of pills
Nudity: Swimsuits; swimmers changing in a locker room (no graphic nudity); short shorts; low-cut top
Other: Jump-scares; mention of divorce; looters stealing; a character lies; a character steps in poop


Company: Paramount
Director: Alexandre Aja
Genre: Horror
Runtime: 87 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: John P.