Warning: SPOILERS for Crawl ahead
Crawl director and producer Alexandre Aja has revealed his horror film almost had a different and far darker ending. Co-produced by Sam Raimi and Craig Flores, Aja’s movie - described in Screen Rant’s review as ‘excellent gatorsploitation’ - mixes the disaster and animal attack genres to create an action-packed survival horror that’s as fun and darkly funny as it is scary. Kaya Scodelario (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) stars as Haley, a competitive college swimmer from Florida who returns to her family home to check on her estranged father Dave (True Grit’s Barry Pepper), just as a Category 5 hurricane is about to hit her hometown.
Along with their adorable family dog Sugar (Cso-Cso), the father and daughter duo must battle not only the elements but a congregation of huge, bloodthirsty alligators that are also wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. Pretty much anything that can go wrong for them does - two police officers looking for survivors get mauled by alligators before they can rescue the trio, Dave loses a limb to one of the hungry gators, and Haley only just survives several close calls with her bloodthirsty stalkers. But after just about every obstacle is thrown at them, Haley, Dave and Sugar are rewarded with a satisfying and befitting ending that sees them finally rescued by helicopter before the tongue-in-cheek “See You Later, Alligator” plays over the end credits.
But at one point in production Crawl had an ending that wasn’t such a happy one. In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Aja revealed that an earlier draft of the movie’s script saw Haley, Dave and Sugar airlifted to safety in a helicopter rescue basket only for an alligator to jump up and eat them just as their survival seems certain. As Aja explained in the interview:
“We had a draft. This is pure spoiler but we had a draft with the final alligator grabbing them in the basket, going up. We didn’t shoot it but on the script stage, we explored a few different directions.”
It’s probably for the best that this alternate ending didn’t make it into the final cut. Some horror movies work precisely because of their bleak, gut-punch endings, but a finale like that in Crawl - while in keeping with the movie’s black humor - probably wouldn’t have been quite so satisfying as its proper ending.
Going forward, Aja has high hopes to add to his ever-growing horror repertoire in the wake of Crawl’s success. Back in 2006, he directed a remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, and he recently revealed he’d love to reboot another Craven horror movie - A Nightmare on Elm Street - in the future.
Source: Bloody Disgusting