Alligator horror 'Crawl’ a surprisingly good monster movie
Here is an interesting new release available now from cable and digital providers as well as a title currently available for streaming.
Video on Demand
"Crawl": Let's get one thing out of the way: This movie is far better than it has any right to be. Paramount clearly didn't have any faith in it as they avoided any advance screenings for critics. They likely thought that they had a pretty cheap horror movie that would get raked over the coals on Rotten Tomatoes, so why bother? Opening weekend, many critics across the country bought a ticket to see the movie and started filing reviews anyway. It ended up with an 82% fresh rating, higher than the audience score turned out to be, and the movie ended up barreling to $90 million at the worldwide box office. Make no mistake, the plot is ridiculous. Kaya Scodelario plays Hayley, a student-athlete at the University of Florida who just happens to be a champion swimmer. Upon learning that a Category 5 hurricane will soon be making landfall, she drives two hours toward the storm because her father, Dave (Barry Pepper), isn't answering his phone. She makes it to her childhood home only to find that her dad has collapsed in the crawl space underneath the house. While attempting to get him to safety before flooding begins, she discovers the real truth about why he was passed out under the house. Gigantic alligators have also found their way into the crawl space seeking safety from the storm, and they've already tussled with dad. In a tightly wound 87 minutes, director Alexandre Aja ("High Tension") delivers true moments of terror along the way as Hayley has to outsmart these hungry monsters to save herself and her father. It's a movie that would be difficult to pull off without advances in technology. The visual effects team has created outstandingly realistic CGI alligators here (supplemented by some mechanical puppets for close-up shots that require practical effects), and I was genuinely on the edge of my seat. Suspend your disbelief, be prepared for some serious gore, and go ahead and put this at the top of your list for Halloween night viewing. (Cable and digital VOD, 4K Ultra HD available)
Also on streaming services
"Greta": Neil Jordan ("The Crying Game") dives straight into solid B-movie territory with this truly bonkers story about a kindhearted young waitress in New York City named Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) who rescues a very nice handbag abandoned on the subway and tracks down its owner, Greta (Isabelle Huppert), to return it. This begins an unbelievable story of obsession and madness. Huppert in beast mode is a sheer delight in every way, ridiculous though it may be. (HBO Now)