Sunday, September 22, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 29
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
AD ASTRA
AFTER THE WEDDING
ANGEL HAS FALLEN
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BINGEABLE: A.P. BIO
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
CRAWL
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD
DOWNTON ABBEY
FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
IT: CHAPTER 2
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RAMBO: LAST BLOOD
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GOLDFINCH
THE KITCHEN
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
YESTERDAY

CRAWL

PHOTO BY COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES

CRAWL


Where is it playing?: Movies Lompoc

What's it rated?: R

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes (2006), Piranha 3D, Horns) directs this action-horror film about Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario), who during a Category 5 hurricane returns to her family home to save her father, Dave (Barry Pepper), who’s trapped in his flooding basement. When she arrives, however, the hurricane is the least of her problems as massive alligators make their escape increasingly unlikely. 

While Crawl isn’t going to win any awards, it’s a masterful example of tension-filled action, and its claustrophobic setting adds to the thrills. We meet our protagonist during her college swim practice, letting us know that Haley has skills in the water. That turns about to be important since she spends most of the film submerged. 

There’s also some side plots about her parents’ divorce, issues between her and her older sister, Beth (Morfydd Anderson), who calls to ask her to check on their dad, and Haley and her father’s estrangement. He’s her childhood swim coach, a driving taskmaster, who she hasn’t seen in a while and who has stopped showing up at her swim meets. These side plots offer some emotional resonance and help develop the chance for reconciliation between her and her dad while also offering moments of reprieve from the tooth-and-claw terrors menacing them.

Between the growing storm and its wind, rain, and rising floodwaters—not to mention the alligators—Haley and her dad have their hands full. When she finally reaches him, her dad’s seriously injured. Getting into the basement to find and save him proves a lot easier than getting out.

The alligators themselves are effectively rendered CGI and realistic models, and there’s a lot of excellent underwater footage. Like the granddaddy of underwater horror, Jaws, Crawl knows how to up the tension ante. The violence is pretty graphic, and the jump scares are frequent and well executed. 

It really helps that Scodelario gives an all-in performance. She’s 100 percent game as the determined daughter who instead of being a damsel in distress is the hero. She gets battered, bloodied, bruised, and worse, but her grit makes her a quintessential hero. Pepper as her dad also delivers a committed performance, which is what makes these campy, B-movie stories come to life. If you’re looking for an effective horror thriller, this one’s worth a watch. (87 min.)

—Glen Starkey




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The U.S. Census is going online for the first time. Is it even possible to get an accurate count?

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