In "Crawl," as a category 5 hurricane tears through Florida, Haley (Scodelario) rushes to find her father (Pepper), who is injured and trapped in the crawl space of their home. With the storm intensifying and water levels rising, the pair face an even bigger threat lurking below the surface. (Gary Reber)
Special features include an intro to an alternate opening (HD 0:25); an alternate opening (HD 04:4); three deleted and extended scenes (HD 06:03); the featurettes "Beneath Crawl" (HD 28:05), "Category 5 Gators: The VFX Of Crawl" (HD 11:37) and "Alligator Attacks" (HD 01:32); upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini camera system and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The imagery is sharp and reveals impressive textural detail, such as the rough brick work, building debris and rotting wood, and mud in the basement of the old house. Even the raising flood waters exhibit impressive shadings and densities with exacting realism. Facial features are shown under assault as pores and hair are subject to caked-on mud and blood with gore-depicted alligator bite wounds and torn-off arms and limbs. The color palette is restrained, if not grayish drab, as the hurricane clamps down on daylight as exhibited in stormy clouds and intense rain and wind. The basement itself exhibits an environment that is drab and dark. The opening sequences are generally well lit and red blood and bright safety raincoats are vivid in a few scenes. Contrast is subdued due to the dark visuals, but black levels are deep and shadow delineation is revealing. This is a convincingly realistic depiction of the "other" dangers below the surface of flood waters caused by a hurricane hitting Florida. It will definitely excite. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is engulfed in constantly intensifying atmospherics, both above and below a house subjected to terrifying gusting winds and torrid, driving rains, which are at times focused on the front channels, lacking the expected full soundstage immersion. Inside, the sound of dripping water and the two main characters sloshing through it, and the tails of alligators whipping through the rising water levels, are frighteningly real sounding. Such is the focus with the storm outside never overwhelming the action between the humans and the alligators. There are moments of high intensity, deep bass, accentuated in the .1 LFE channel. This heightens the "excitement" effect of both the frightening storm sequence with its active thunder, wind and pouring rain. The intensity intensifies as the floodwaters rush through the area and into the old house's basement. The music is haunting and brooding with occasionally intense cues. Occasional discrete and directionalized sound effects are heard in the surround channels. The various maneuverings in the floodwaters are nicely panned. Foley sound effects are impressively sync'd. Sound effects sound realistic and are effective, such as banging on the pipes within the crawl space to distract the alligators and the constant sound of dripping water. Dialogue is mostly intelligible but strained under the circumstances of constant and building storm weather and chaos, with spatial integration wanting. When the soundtrack is upmixed using AuroMatic and DTS Neural:X it becomes intensely immersive with a very spatially dimensional height layer. This is a riveting holosonic® experience that delivers on excitement. (Gary Reber)