Barry PepperKaya Scodelario...
In 1 Cinema
An actor can make a character much more than what is merely written in the lines. And in Crawl, Kaya Scodelario lifted her character from bland and cliché to someone you would actually like to meet.
Crawl follows competitive swimmer Hailey (Kaya Scodelario) as she ventures into an enormous hurricane to find her father (Barry Pepper), who is missing. Hailey finds her father under their old family house with a bleeding wound and protruding bone. What Hailey quickly finds out for herself is that giant alligators have snuck in under the house, and with water rapidly rising because of the hurricane, they will soon be unable to escape. With no help in sight, Hailey is her own and her father’s only hope of survival.
The survival feature has a pretty simple plot of humans versus alligators, with a side of hurricane, but the film also inserts an emotional subplot involving the father-daughter relationship. Even though this subplot is not especially whole and does not really play a vital part in the big picture, it helps build up the two main characters and adds context to their relationship.
The dialogue, however, does no such thing, with repetitive cliché lines and gaps that created plausibility issues in the film’s plot. An example is when Hailey leaves a safe area to get her phone and dials 911 while still in the danger zone. Why she didn’t go back should be explained; a line with her exclaiming that there is no reception, or any elaboration would have sorted such an issue out.
Except for a couple of closeups on wounds and shots of bloody waters, the film is not too graphic and or scary, except for the fact that this could actually happen to someone who lives in Florida.
The CGI of the alligators was, at times, realistic, but cartoonish at others, which took away some of the film’s realism. What also took from the film’s authenticity was the fact that its main characters kept escaping with new wounds that hindered them, but they somehow kept functioning, while others were chomped at once.
For the acting, Kaya Scodelario gives a compelling performance, while subtly adding uniqueness and likability to her character. Scodelario’s soldiering performance was not only admirable but also plausible, and with that, she carried the feature over the line of mediocrity. Barry Pepper’s performance was adequate, although his character felt a bit underdeveloped, especially when compared to Scodelario’s.
Crawl is a fun flick to watch, especially at the movies with the alligators coming straight at you. It is no Jaws, but Kaya Scodelario’s performance makes it more than just watchable.