A Quiet Place was a big horror hit, so now Paramount wants more scary movies to strike box office gold. Enter Crawl, a new horror-thriller produced by Evil Dead filmmaker Sam Raimi and directed by High Tension director Alexandre Aja. The film focuses on a woman trapped in a house during a hurricane, and being forced to deal with fierce predators.
The horror business is booming, and that’s a good thing. Last year saw films like Get Out and It becoming bonafide blockbusters, and this year has seen the success of A Quiet Place. Paramount, who distributed A Quiet Place, wants more of that sweet, sweet horror success, and who can blame them? The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Paramount will release the “self-contained” horror film Crawl, which is said to be low-budget and thus pretty much a sure-fire box office hit if they market it right. Alexandre Aja, who directed High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes remake, is going to helm the film. Horror master Sam Raimi is set to produce.
The story “centers on a young woman who, while struggling to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped inside a flooding house and fighting for her life against Florida’s most savage and feared predators.” THR doesn’t say what those “savage and feared predators” are, but ComingSoon seems pretty sure we’re talking about alligators here. So there you have: this is a movie about a woman fighting off both a hurricane and some alligators. And maybe some other nasty creatures, too.
Shawn and Michael Rasmussen, who wrote the John Carpenter film The Ward, wrote the initial script for the film. Aja has since rewritten their draft. Aja is a fairly good director when it comes to style – he often crafts slick-yet-gritty looking films with a nasty streak. But I’m a little so-so on his storytelling. High Tension was almost a great movie until an utterly ludicrous final twist destroyed everything that came before it, and his Hills Have Eyes remake felt like it was ultimately missing something. But I really like the idea behind this film – one woman facing off against the elements. There’s a lot of room there for something great, especially if Aja can land a particularly strong actress for the part. I also love that Sam Raimi is involved in this, if only as a producer. Maybe someday he’ll decide to return to horror filmmaking as well.
Crawl original 2019 trailer.
The toothy thriller, written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, is one lean, mean machine. It doesn’t waste much time setting up the blessedly simple physical and psychological stakes for these characters. Physically, Dave and Haley must flee the imminent danger before being digested and mentally, they must overcome personal anguish over the strain of divorce in order to survive this ensuing disaster. The filmmakers don’t over-complicate the monster-on-the-loose mayhem either, which keeps the snappy pace moving.
Aja utilizes the widescreen format brilliantly – so much so, if you were to watch this with the sound off, you could still follow the story. Subject placement plays a large role as does the camerawork. He evokes the “God’s eye” perspective to ramp up tension when an alligator pens her in the shower. At another point, the camera takes the gator’s POV – as a loving homage to JAWS. Plus, the filmmakers build in a nod to JURASSIC PARK.
1. Alligators continue to grow throughout their lifetimes.
Male American alligators average 8 to 10 feet long, while females tend to be slightly smaller. Very old males can get quite large, up to 15 feet long and weighing over 1,000 pounds.
2. They can use tools.
American alligators have been observed using lures to hunt birds. They balance sticks and branches on their heads, attracting birds looking for nesting material.
3. Alligators have two kinds of walks.
Besides swimming, alligators walk, run, and crawl on land. They have a "high walk" and a "low walk." The low walk is sprawling, while in the high walk the alligator lifts its belly off the ground.
4. Alligators are ecosystem engineers.
Alligators play an important role in their wetland ecosystems by creating small ponds known as alligator holes. Alligator holes retain water during the dry season and provide habitats for other animals.
5. Alligators are apex predators that also eat fruit.
Alligators are carnivorous opportunists, eating fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. What they eat is largely determined by their size. However, they were recently reported to also eat fruit such as wild grapes, elderberries, and citrus fruits directly from trees. Alligators may help spread the seeds of these fruits throughout their habitats.
6. Alligators are some of the most vocal reptiles.
Alligators have a variety of different calls to declare territory, signal distress, threaten competitors, and find mates. Although they have no vocal cords, alligators bellow loudly by sucking air into their lungs and blowing it out in intermittent roars. In addition to bellowing, alligators can growl, hiss, and make a cough-like sound called a chumpf.
7. Alligator courtship is sophisticated.
At the start of the spring breeding season, males bellow to attract females. The bellows have an infrasonic component that can cause the surface of the water around the male to ripple and dance. Other courtship rituals include head-slapping on the water's surface, snout and back rubbing, and blowing bubbles.
8. Female alligators are devoted moms.
Female alligators build nests made of vegetation, sticks, leaves, and mud near a body of water. As the vegetation decays, it heats up and keeps the eggs warm. She stays near the nest throughout the 65-day incubation period, protecting it from intruders. When the eggs are ready to hatch, the young alligators make high-pitched noises from inside their eggs. This causes their mother to start digging them out of the nest and carrying her babies down to the water in her jaws. She may protect her young for up to a year.
9. Their sex is determined by temperature.
The temperature at which the eggs develop determines their sex. Eggs exposed to temperatures above 93°F (34 °C) become males, while those at 86 °F (30 °C) become females. Intermediate temperatures produce both sexes.
10. Alligators are toothy.
They have between 74 and 80 teeth in their jaws at any given time, and as teeth wear down or fall out they are replaced. An alligator can go through over 2,000 teeth in its lifetime.
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