Crawl is the kind of purely fun summer movie that they don't make anymore 1 week ago

Crawl is the kind of purely fun summer movie that they don't make anymore

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It is about people being hunted by alligators during a hurricane. That should be all you need to know.

In 1975, Steven Spielberg released Jaws upon the world, essentially creating the idea of a "blockbuster" movie, and in the process making one of the best scary movies of all time.

But when you get right down to it, the plot is essentially about a shark that likes to eat people at one particular beach. It doesn't sound like it will end up being considered one of the greatest films ever made, but it did.

Over four decades later, and summer blockbusters are now mostly superhero movies, or huge animated movies, or just any excuse to knock over CGI skyscrapers.

Now, we're not saying that Crawl is this generation's Jaws, but it is the kind of movie that we just don't get enough of during the summer months anymore.

It is a nuts and bolts basic thriller, as a huge hurricane begins to batter the Florida coast, a daughter (Maze Runner's Kaya Scodelario) goes to check on her estranged father (Saving Private Ryan's Barry Pepper) when he doesn't answer his phone. When she arrives at her childhood home, she discovers him unconscious in the crawlspace beneath their home, with a massive gash on his chest.

Turns out the rising flood waters have caused some alligators in the area to make the crawlspace their home, and as the storm continues to pound, the water level continues to rise, and father and daughter realise getting out isn't going to be easy.

Director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, Switchblade Romance) keeps most of the action in a space that our protagonists can't even stand up straight in, and so dark that you'll be kept squinting on the edge of your seat, trying to spot the gators before our heroes do.

Satisfyingly, the movie truly puts father and daughter through the ringer, causing about as much physical harm to them as you'd expect to happen to two people being hunted by alligators in the middle of a hurricane. Aja knows how to inflict pain, and there is a lot of joy in being a part of an audience that simultaneously jumps and winces at particularly violent and gory sequences.

Truth be told, any time the movie stops to attempt to develop the relationship between the two leads, you wish it hadn't bothered, and maybe instead gone the full Gravity route and left Scodelario alone to survive by herself.

But as it is, the movie represents the kind of fun rollercoaster that zips by (less than 90 minutes long!) and provides the perfect antidote to overblown, overlong, over-serious summer fare.

Crawl is released in Irish cinemas on Friday 23 August.

Clip via Paramount Pictures UK

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