This year’s horror movie Crawl followed a woman trying to escape her home during a hurricane while being hunted by alligators. On the DVD of the film, there is an alternate opening, which is great, but ruins the build towards the second act.
The Blu-ray and digital release of the film contains an alternate opening that was never filmed, which features an introduction from director Alexandre Aja. It opens with facts about alligator attacks as a segway into a motion comic version of the alternate opening. It follows a family packing up, trying to stay ahead of the hurricane descending on their state. Eventually, the family gets trapped in rising waters, and the husband gets out to help move a car trapped in the road. An alligator attacks, brutally maiming and killing the father and eventually, the rest of the family.
Crawl’s theatrical release opens with Haley (Kaya Scodelario) at a swim meet in college, flashing back to the lessons her father taught her as a child. She then ventures to her hometown to check on her father during a category 5 hurricane. It’s a bit of a build towards the eventual threat the protagonists face, giant alligators.
While the motion comic is extremely cool, it was thankfully never the opening to the theatrical release of the movie. What makes Crawl such a successful and fun horror film is the slow build and rising tension as Haley and her father are trapped in their house. You know there’s an eventual threat looming down the road, and the choice to exclude alligators from the first act entirely makes the monster’s reveal oh so much more satisfying.
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In GameSpot’s review of Crawl, Rafael Motamayor said, “Crawl’s brisk runtime of just under 90 minutes helps make it the perfect antidote for this summer of overly long movies, as Alexandre Aja delivers a throwback to the heyday of aquatic horror movies that can do for lakehouses in Florida what Jaws did for beaches. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
Crawl is available now digitally and on Blu-ray and DVD.
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