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Movie Review

A Category 5 hurricane unleashes treacherous winds, violent flooding and catastrophic damage. It’s the kind of natural disaster you want to get far away from.

But Haley Keller ignores state-wide pleas for evacuation when one of those hurricanes approaches her small Florida town. Instead, she drives into the teeth of the storm, going deep into swamp territory, to her childhood home, in search of her missing father.

When she finds him at the back of a shallow crawl space with a deep shoulder wound, she plans to drag him upstairs and rush him to a hospital. But before she can reach the stairs, she’s confronted with a new challenge: a monstrous alligator on the hunt for his next kill.

As water fills the crawl space, Haley and her father must figure out how to mend old wounds and outsmart deadly creatures if they want a chance at surviving their worst nightmare.

Positive Elements

Haley intends to rescue her father, risking her life multiple times, even though they are not on the best of terms. Haley’s father encourages her athletic ability, calms her and assures her that his divorce was not her fault. Eventually, police officers and others try to help Haley and her dad.

Spiritual Content


Sexual Content

Young women wear one-piece bathing suits at various swim meets. The camera follows some of them into a locker room to change; we see one woman shirtless from the neck up as she changes. A couple of other women are briefly shown in bras and underwear.

Haley video-chats with her sister and jokes about a time her sister got caught having sex with a boyfriend.

Violent Content

This is where it gets … bloody. As you can imagine, a bunch of escaped alligators are looking to feast on nearby prey during the floods caused by the hurricane. And they most certainly do that throughout the film.

Haley finds her father, Dave, lying on the crawl space floor, unconscious and bearing a gruesome shoulder wound. (We see blood and teeth marks.) Haley gets dragged by numerous alligators as they latch on to her shoulder and leg. One of her arms nearly gets torn off, and a leg receives a bloody gash, too. Dave, for his part, fights off alligators with a broken leg (we see the bone and hear and see him set it back into place) and eventually his arm is torn off.

A woman and two men are violently dragged underwater, bodies thrashing, as they’re chomped to death and their blood seeps into the roiling currents. Two police officers are also killed, with one horrifically having his head ripped off. Haley’s father nearly drowns.

As the hurricane picks up force, trees smash into windows, cars flip over and water destroys homes.

Crude or Profane Language

God’s name is misused about 10 times, once paired with “d--mit.” The f-word is used four times, and “freaking” is heard once. The s-word is uttered about a dozen times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A bottle of hard liquor sits on a table.

Other Negative Elements

Haley and her father have a rocky relationship. They’re both stubborn, and they have difficulty forgiving and communicating. Haley is also angry about her parents' divorce and feels that it was her fault. Similarly, her dad doesn’t believe he deserves a second chance at happiness after the divorce.

A group of people try to steal an ATM during a hurricane but are unsuccessful.


Crawl, at its core, is everything you might expect from a movie featuring an athletic-but-injured swimmer, her mauled father and enormous alligators.

How do Haley and Dave survive the onslaught of these CGI beasts when everyone else is being ripped to shreds? Well, Hollywood and luck, of course. And Haley's remarkable ability to somehow outswim these angry amphibious predators.

Are there crazy plot holes? Yes. Is the ending unsatisfying? You bet. Are there moments where you find yourself thinking loudly, Are you really going back into the water?! Yup.

Look, I’m not a total hater. I actually enjoy movies about people who face off against super-large creatures and fight for their lives. The kind of films that provide just enough adrenaline jolts to keep me on the edge of my seat.

But while Crawl does indeed check all of those boxes, a few simple edits of this horror flick's harsh profanity and graphic gore could have easily yielded a PG-13 rating.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range



Kaya Scodelario as Haley Keller; Barry Pepper as Dave Keller; Ross Anderson as Wayne Taylor; Anson Boon as Stan; George Somner as Marv; Ami Metcalf as Lee; Morfydd Clark as Beth Keller


Alexandre Aja ( )


Paramount Pictures



Record Label



In Theaters

July 12, 2019

On Video

October 15, 2019

Year Published



Kristin Smith

Content Caution

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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