Crawl 2 may tell a totally new story with new characters teases director Alexandre Aja. Starring Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper, 2019’s Crawl told the story of a swimming prodigy returning to her Florida home town in the middle of a category 5 hurricane only to find herself in a fight for survival when a trio of massive alligators invaded her father’s flooded house.
On paper this may have seemed an unlikely film to score with audiences, given its old school and arguably quaintly simplistic human vs. nature plot. But classic Jaws-style monster movie thrills must have been exactly what audiences wanted in summer of 2019 as the movie grossed $92 million worldwide on a budget of just $13.5 million. Crawl hit such a cinematic sweet spot among fans of B-movie horror that even aficionado Quentin Tarantino himself spoke up to praise Aja’s effort.
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With Aja back in movie fans’ sights again after the arrival of his twisty Netflix thriller Oxygen, the director recently had occasion to discuss plans for a possible Crawl sequel. Appearing on Bloody Disgusting’s Tales From the Boo Crew podcast, Aja confirmed that there have been talks about Crawl 2 and even gave some details on what the new movie might look like. Unfortunately for fans of Scodelario’s performance in the first movie, it doesn’t seem the character of Haley would be brought back for the sequel. Aja said (via ComicBook.com):
“I think the story of Haley is a really strong one, but I believe that Crawl is about nature taking back its due, and kind of like… more hurricane driven, man versus animal. So maybe it will be another story altogether… We’re looking for that human story right now, that will be as strong as the one in the first one. To make the second one legit.”
Indeed it might be a stretch to bring back Scodelario’s Haley for another round of battle against hurricanes and alligators, just as it was a huge stretch to bring back the Brody family for multiple Jaws sequels. The sharks vs. Brodys premise of the Jaws series in fact became such a reach that by Jaws: The Revenge it had crossed the boundary into the utterly ridiculous and surreal. So, leaving Haley on the sidelines for Crawl 2 would seemingly be the prudent move to make.
Aja’s reasoning for wanting to leave the main character of Crawl behind and start over with a totally new story tackling the same humans vs. nature theme of the original is sound enough. However, it must also be said that Scodelario’s presence added a lot to the first movie as she gave a strong and grounding performance amid all the insane chaos. If Aja wants to make Crawl 2 work with a new story, he must find a lead performer who can grab the audience as effectively as Scodelario did in the original. Of course Aja frequently has strong female characters at the center of his films, as he does again with the Melanie Laurent-led Oxygen. Indeed between Crawl and Oxygen, Aja has become something of a master of female-led survival stories. That being the case, there’s reason for horror fans to be excited for what Aja might do with Crawl 2.
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