Follow TV Tropes


Film / Crawl

Go To
Crawl is a disaster/horror film directed by Alexandre Aja and starring Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper. It was released July 12, 2019.

As a category 5 hurricane sweeps over Florida, Haley Keller (Scodelario) postpones her escape to evacuate her dad Dave (Pepper) from their home. However, she finds him severely hurt and the two are unable to get out before floodwaters strand them. Haley also discovers that while they may have been largely cut off from humanity, they are not alone — alligators have infiltrated the house, and they have a taste for human flesh. Can father and daughter escape alive against such overwhelming odds?


This film includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Survivor: Haley and her father Dave.
  • Ankle Drag: A trailer shows how Haley gets grabbed and dragged away by an alligator at one point.
  • An Arm and a Leg: While Haley is able to (narrowly) escape being subject to this trope after getting both her right arm and right leg severely bitten by the alligators, Dave gets his forearm ripped clean off at the elbow.
  • Asshole Victim: Averted with the looters who were stealing from a gas station but would have helped Haley and her dad if the alligators didn't brutally attack them all.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Haley, Dave, and Sugar the dog survive and are rescued, but they're also wounded (with Dave losing an arm) and many people including the looters, the deputy, and several rescuers (including their family friend) died either to the hurricane or to the alligators. The alligators get a Downer Ending since their eggs placed in the basement were sure to have been washed away and ruined or dissolved by the flood reaching to 2-3 stories.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bloody Handprint: In the trailer, Haley, while looking for her father, finds a pair of handprints made in blood on a pipe near the ceiling.
  • Captain Oblivious: While the viewer sees it, one civilian in the flood (the first to hear Haley's cries for help) doesn't hear his wife getting slaughtered by an alligator.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The movie opens with Haley exiting a swimming tournament at college. Haley's diving and swimming skills prove to be useful as she goes to evade the alligators.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Dave and Haley deliver a number of snarky quips throughout the film.
    Haley: Stay here.
    Dave: I was thinking about going for a jog...
  • Devoured by the Horde: Deputy Pete gets torn apart by an entire swarm of alligators.
  • Eye Scream: Haley is fond of delivering those to attacking alligators.
  • Hope Spot: Several. Haley and her father do everything they can to get help and even manage to find several people willing to help. Unfortunately, the alligators end up eating them before they can.
  • Improvised Weapon: Haley and Dave have no actual weapons to defend themselves for much of the film, but manage to put screwdrivers, shovels, road flares and bricks, among other items, to effective use.
  • Made of Iron: Haley and her dad are bitten and severely wounded several times, Dave gets his arm ripped off but none of these injuries impede them as much as you'd expect. Taken to the extreme late in the film, when Haley gets caught in a deathroll, and manages to keep going. Downplayed, as once they're to safety they clearly begin feeling the effects of their injuries, implying that adrenaline was keeping them going.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: As if being trapped during a hurricane isn't enough, Haley and her dad also have to deal with human-hunting alligators.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Only Haley, her father and her dog are alive at the end as while we saw 7 people (a married couple, 3 looters and 2 policemen) get Eaten Alive by the alligators.
  • Off with His Head!: As Pete is being devoured by a pack of alligators, you can see his head being torn off.
  • Papa Wolf: Dave Keller. Not even losing an arm will keep him from protecting his daughter.
    • The alligators might fit this trope as well. In real life, alligators despise floods and normally would evacuate but seeing that they laid eggs in the house's basement, they might be killing off the humans out of fear they'll kill off their hatchlings.
  • Police are Useless: We see Haley call for help over the portable radio in the trailer, and it does arrive in the form of a pair of professional rescuers in yellow vests...only for one of them, who is a family Friend on the Force and Haley's sister's ex-boyfriend, to get promptly bitten at the midsection and dragged underwater by an alligator.
  • Product Placement: A few brand names are placed conspicuously throughout the first 20 minutes or so.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: Haley and Dave's need to escape the basement is increased by the fact that it's only a matter of time before the hurricane floods it. When the levee dikes break and a massive wave washes over Coral Lake, this goes for the rest of the house at an insane rate.
  • Sewer Gator: Dave surmises the alligators got into their basement through a storm drain.
  • Shovel Strike: Dave uses a shovel to defend himself from an alligator attack and partially decapitate it.
  • Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: Alligators don't hunt communally. They also don't build underground nests because they need sunlight to keep the eggs warm. And female alligators try to seek secluded areas away from humans and other alligators to build their nests.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Piranha 3D, another Alexandre Aja horror film about killer aquatic animals. Whereas that film was Played for Laughs with tons of Black Comedy and Bloody Hilarious gore, this is a straightforward horror movie that treats its predators as a serious threat.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Real alligators would generally try to find somewhere sheltered to hunker down during a hurricane, not go hunting. However, the gators are shown to have built a nest in the basement, so not only are they hungry, they also have eggs to defend.
  • Trapped with Monster Plot: Haley and her father are trapped in their house by an incoming category 5 hurricane, which prevents them from easily getting help. To make matters worse, a group of alligators have moved into the house with the rising floodwaters, and alligators can swim better than humans can.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: