Underwater Hell (Crawl), is a 2019 movie that Netflix added to its catalog last March. Own Quentin Tarantino called it his favorite horror movie of the year, which already gives it an additional appeal.
The film comes from the hand of Alexandre Aja, which already makes us have an idea about what we can find in Underwater Hell. The French director is known for films such as Hills have 3D Eyes, Mirrors or Piranhas. And lately they are talking (and a lot) about him, for the premiere of his next movie, Oxygen, that we will have available on May 12 on Netflix.
Hell under water: don’t breathe
The movie stars Kaya Scodelario (Extremely cruel, evil and wicked) in the role of Haley, and Barry Pepper like Dave. Two little known actors and with a wide professional career in secondary roles, who have enough capacity to carry the film and make it credible.
The story begins with a brief introduction that helps Aja to edit her movie. He does not intend to explore why Haley stops talking to her father Dave, since deep down this is secondary for Underwater Hell and it is only the excuse to make the film born and develop. The important thing in her is not why, but what it entails.
In the middle of a hurricane that’s hitting the Florida coast, Haley travels to her hometown to find her father, the one her sister can’t contact, to see if she’s okay. This journey will take you to the house where you were born to discover that they are not alone there.
From that moment begins a frantic story to save their lives. A story distressing which leads both of you into continual situations that make you hold your breath. It is the typical movie where each step that the protagonists take to try to flee from the danger that stalks them, brings them closer and closer to him, meeting again and again, with a fight to save his life that will keep you in a tension and anguish until its end.
Crocodiles to tutti and lots of water
Alexandre Aja returns to bring us some wild animals to scare us. This time he uses a few little used for this type of terror: the crocodiles. It is true that we have seen them before in the odd movie, that they passed without pain or glory, and whose title I do not remember. But until now none of them had been able to maintain that atmosphere of suspense, fear and anguish like Hell under Water does.
Aja’s crocodiles are terrifying creatures that roam freely in the middle of a hurricane, devouring everything they find in its path. Their huge jaws, along with their bodies over four meters long and 400 kilos in weight, make you feel scared just by looking at them.
It is true that it has small glitches, that we forgive him. Like those bites that the protagonists suffer without seeming to have great consequences when we all know that crocodiles are one of the fiercest creatures in the world and that when they bite they do not release their victim.
As if that were not enough with the crocodiles, the protagonists of Underwater Hell also have to survive a hurricane which is completely destroying the town in which the action takes place. Torrential rains that will eventually flood everything with the break of the dam, which will contribute to the huge crocodiles roam at ease.
Scenes where the water is rising unstoppably while Haley and Dave are looking for ways to escape her, to which is added the fear of not knowing what is under those waters. The only way to escape is swimming, just what their enemies, the crocodiles, do great. That fear of putting a foot or a hand in those waters that rise …
Hell under water takes place almost entirely in the same setting, Haley and Dave’s family home, and with few actors, which is an added handicap that could bore the viewer. But this house has a charm that only Aja has seen, since from your basement to your roof they become a world in which to survive without you feeling the feeling that everything is the same.
And as if this were not enough, have a dog!! Yes, Alexandre Aja knows very well how create anguish with this type of film and, of course, I could not ignore one of the elements that more suffering causes in most viewers: in this case a dog, who will accompany the protagonists on their odyssey. Will it be saved, or will it end up between the jaws of these terrible predators?
Summarizing: Hell under water is one of those series B films that you watch to have fun suffering and knowing that in the end everything will turn out well, even if its protagonists are battered, injured or without a limb. A fast-paced movie that fulfills its purpose of entertaining and making you have a “hard time.”