The crocodile has always been a second-rate water villain, we've seen this animal plenty of times on the big screen. Their terrestrial mobility could have made these reptiles an even more voracious adversary than the much more exploited sharks, but, perhaps because of that ability to attack in an environment in which we do not feel so unprotected, the titles with these contemporary dinosaurs have never lived a real golden age, so there has always been this interesting kind of void in the industry, and it is always interesting to explore and see what the cinematographers fill these voids with. Alexandre Aja, passionate about terror and his subgenres, may not think the same thing or have the same limitations when it comes to playing with the aformentioned reptiles, and, with his beloved Deadly Trap of Tobe Hooper and The Beast Under the Asphalt of Lewis Teague in the head, he has decided to try his luck with these fierce enemies in times of huge but sweetened megalodones.
Although this time he has preferred to set aside the brilliant spermic cynicism that he showed in the previous famous Piranha 3D, his crocodiles are quite hungry, humans go straight to the plot tricks and the camera knows where to stand in every single shot (point for that, he's a clever director) so that, for less than a miraculously long time and a half (1:30 hours), we can enjoy a movie in which people is being besieged by ruthless and violent creatures so we can have a good time having a bad time at the same time. To be honest, there is nothing more and nothing less to this movie that we can praise or drown into criticism, it just does its work and gets delivered as it promises you from the beginning.
Alexandre Aja's eating habits are as easy to determine as those of a Florida crocodile. The director of this esteemed and effective, although not surprising, Crawl responds to the pattern of supercharged European filmmaker with American cinema of the 70s and 80s, who, once crossed the puddle, is pleased to re-cook the star dishes of his nostalgia, already bear the signature of old chefs such as Wes Craven or Joe Dante, with the dressing of a sense of postmodern humor and a certain daring in the representation of that variant of the nouvelle cuisine gore that was the new movement French Extremity in Crawl, Aja tries to give originality to the ninth repetition of the Shark (1975) by Steven Spielberg, contributing a marked sense of claustrophobia in chiaroscuro to his history of survival in a unique situation.
The equation is simple, typical of a very pure B series: a young woman has to save her father, whom she discovers is injured in the flooded basement of her house, while the area is being evacuated by the passage of a category 5 hurricane. The crocodiles of an adjacent zoo have made their way to the narrow basement to complicate the lives of the characters and reward the spectators with sense of the spectacle, aware that any outline of salvation will be immediately pulverized to give way to the next challenge.
Far from the imaginative overflow of his perhaps insurmountable 3D Piranha (2010), Aja applies here to give only what his premise promises. And he does it effectively and ex officio, although he cannot prevent his scriptwriter partner - Michael and Shawn Rasmussen - intoxicating the water with the familiar rhetoric of redemption and self-improvement around the paternofilial relationship of the characters. The punctual points of narrative interest that occupy a trio of supermarket jumpers and a police rescue team serve the group very well, punctuated periodically by general plans of the stormy display that the digital enhancement endows the dramatic sense of an emphatic bestseller cover.