Paramount Pictures By Dany Roth/June 19, 2020 8:58 pm EDT 2019 was an absolute banger for the horror genre. If you were looking for established monsters, you had Annabelle Comes Home and Pennywise from It: Chapter 2. If you wanted more from up-and-coming horror creators making waves, there was Midsommar from Ari Aster. Doctor Sleep gave us generational trauma, Ready or Not gave us revenge on the rich, and Satanic Panic gave us Whitney Moore strutting around with a cartoonishly giant, uh... drill. In short, it was a very good year to love scary movies.
But for every great (and let’s be real, not so great) horror movie you caught, there’s about a metric ton that you missed. Nothing short of making it your life’s sole ambition will make seeing every horror movie in a given year even remotely feasible, let alone possible. And that is why there’s a good chance you missed one of the best horror movies of 2019 entirely.
The great movie you missed is called Crawl. Crawl is a film about fighting off alligators during a Category 5 hurricane. Most importantly, Crawl is a movie you can watch right now on Amazon Prime.
Crawl shares DNA with Jaws, The Meg, and Sharknado Universal Pictures There's a lot to recommend Crawl without spoiling anything beyond the premise. Obviously, the film is drawing from the classic "man vs. nature" narrative that helped make Steven Spielberg a household name with Jaws in 1975.
Of course, fighting monsters not by land, but by sea, is a story that filmmakers (and audiences) love coming back to again and again. The 1990s alone provided all the proof you need that people will never tire of movies like Jaws. Lake Placid has crocodiles, Deep Blue Sea has sharks, and Anaconda has, well, an anaconda.
We’re talking about uncomplicated, pulse-quickening action-horror. And we know audiences still love this brand of horror because The Meg (which features an enormous megalodon) made over $500 million at the box office in 2018 (source: Box Office Mojo). And that doesn’t even touch on that social media masterclass that is the Sharknado franchise.
Everything we’ve said so far just tells you that people are poised to like the concept of a young woman and her father fighting off a bunch of alligators. What makes Crawl go from interesting to good?
Crawl has some serious pedigree Paramount Pictures Crawl's pedigree, first and foremost, is found behind the camera. The film is produced by Sam Raimi, easily one of horror's most important and influential filmmakers. Raimi's career really kicked off with the Evil Dead trilogy, a franchise that deftly transitioned from "Video Nasty" to full-blown comedy over the course of eleven years. Bruce Campbell's starring role as Ash Williams in Evil Dead made him the most beloved B-movie actor in the business, and eventually led to Sam Raimi becoming the guy who reinvented the superhero genre with three Spider-Man movies.
In the director’s chair for Crawl is Alexandre Aja, another absolute horror champ. Aja wrote and produced P2, easily one of the grizzliest movies in the Christmas horror sub-genre. To be clear, Christmas horror is always grizzly, and putting any movie side to side with Black Christmas (which we are absolutely doing here) is serious praise. Aja also directed Harry Potter’s own Daniel Radcliffe in an adaptation of Joe Hill’s almost indescribably bizarre novel Horns. And if you were hoping for a little Jaws connection, Aja also directed the wild and wacky Jaws send-up, Piranha 3D.
Raimi and Aja are a real dream team, and Crawl, without giving too much away, weaves some genuinely emotional family drama into a movie that could’ve just been a very tense roller coaster ride of woman vs. alligator vs. hurricane — which, on it’s own, would have been fantastic enough.
So, if you missed Crawl and now you’re regretting it, good news: Crawl is streaming on Amazon.