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Just How Scary (& Violent) Is Crawl?

How scary is the new horror movie Crawl? We break down everything you need to know about the R rating for Alexandre Aja's angry alligator film.

The Alligator in Crawl

How scary is the new alligator horror movie Crawl? Directed by Alexandre Aja and co-produced by Sam Raimi, the disaster film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper. In the past, Aja has directed films like The Hills Have Eyes, Horns, and Piranha 3D. He’s associated with the New French Extremity movement, due to the extreme horror depicted in his films, specifically the 2003 cult classic High Tension.

In Crawl, Scodelario and Pepper portray Haley and Dave Keller, respectively. During a hurricane in Florida, the daughter-father duo fail to evacuate the city of Coral Lake, and confront a horrifying truth while hiding away at the family home: 'gators. As water threatens their safety, so do a pack of hungry alligators. Produced for $17 million, Crawl will be released by Paramount Pictures on July 12. Scodelario, an English actress, recently appeared in the Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile and is best known for starring in Skins and the Maze Runner film franchise. Her Crawl co-star, Pepper, is a veteran character actor who also appears in the Maze Runner series. 

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Related: Watch The Crawl Trailer

Even though Crawl doesn’t have a blockbuster budget, horror fans will undoubtedly seek it out this summer. But how much can the average moviegoer handle in terms of violence and gore? The MPAA has given Crawl an R rating (meaning nobody under 17 can see unsupervised) for "bloody creature violence, and brief language," while the BBFC has given it a 15 rating (meaning nobody under 15 will be admitted) for "strong bloody injury detail, threat, violence.” But what does all that really mean? Here are the spoiler-free basics for Crawl.

How Scary Is Crawl?

Crawl 2019 poster for review

Crawl features killer alligators that stalk a man and his daughter inside their own home. Whereas a horror classic like Jaws includes killer sharks that prowl a New England shore and the surrounding waters, Crawl’s central villain is up close and personal. For people who are claustrophobic, Crawl might trigger some issues. Also, the primary threat in Crawl is a Category 5 Hurricane, at least to begin. That in itself is scary and could be traumatic for people who have experienced the wrath of Mother Nature.

The movie focuses on slow build-up of tension, and does have moments of jolts when the gators rear their heads. This is nothing groundbreaking but the prolonged, consistent horror will certainly prove oppressive for some.

How Violent Is Crawl?

The MPAA’s “bloody creature violence” warning may not seem scary, but Crawl does indeed feature alligators that consume human beings. For those who are easily scared, the bad news is that Crawl is fundamentally about alligator attacks. The good news, then, is that one can mentally prepare themselves for images of broken bones, ripped flesh, and aggressive puncture wounds. 

It’s worth noting that Crawl’s main villains don’t just bite and retreat. They really go for it. Specifically, one poor guy gets decapitated, and even one of the ‘gators takes a stab wound to the eye. Viewers can expect loads of bloody water given all the human-alligator drama in Crawl.

The Rest Of Crawl’s R Rating: Swearing And Nudity

Crawl Movie

Crawl’s profanity has been described as “infrequent” by the BBFC. However, audiences should know that the film includes f-bombs (“f**k”), along with words such as “goddamit,” “shit,” and even “frigging” - which is a milder form of “f**king.”

More: Read Our Crawl Review

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