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(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to take a list of random words and use Rhymezone.com, which I do all the time incidentally, to find rhymes and similar words to use with them, which naturally leads to some welcome alliteration.)

I crave a crunch within my keep
And crawl and creep from out the deep
And sleekly sneak and slink toward prey
To snag the snack that runs away.
The peril of my pool is plain,
But how I prowl is not in vain;
The haunted hunted hate the wait
And heed the hazard much too late.
Before the fear is fully felt,
My sudden strike of death is dealt.
The walking world has one more dead,
And I, the predator, am fed.
____________________________

MPA rating: R

I enjoy a good creature feature and got Crawl from my library, thinking it was PG-13; I was wrong. If I’d known gorehound director Alexandre Aja was behind it, I probably would not have sought it out at all, but I’m glad I gave Crawl a chance. It’s an effectively pulse-pounding thriller that does for gators what Jaws did for sharks.

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Kaya Scodelario plays Haley, a swimmer who drives into a flood zone as Hurricane Wendy bears down upon the Florida coast. She searches for her unresponsive dad (Barry Pepper) who hasn’t evacuated, and when she finds him, wounded beneath his house, the two humans and a dog are caught between the rising flood waters and a hoard of hungry alligators.

Crawl doesn’t need to be more than it is, a white-knuckle man/woman-against-nature flick with ravenous reptiles, and it succeeds. It develops the tension and the characters laudably well, providing convincing throw-away victims to up the stakes while the strained father-daughter dynamic grows stronger through the peril.

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Like nearly all horror flicks, there are moments of foolishness that smarter-than-thou audiences can shake their heads at, but I doubt I’d fare as well as the main characters do. It has a few gruesome scenes on the level of Jaws, but Crawl’s violence is surprisingly restrained overall, considering the director, and turned out to be an unrealistic but enjoyably tense watch.

 

Rank: List Runner-Up

 

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