Hands down one of the best big-bad creature horrors I’ve ever seen!
Stars: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Morfydd Clark
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writers: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen
Synopsis: A young woman, Hayley (Kaya Scodelario), finds herself trapped, with her injured father (Barry Pepper), in a slowly flooding house in Florida during a category 5 hurricane. If that wasn’t bad enough the flood waters have brought in huge alligators, so it suddenly becomes a choice between drowning or fighting against these killer creatures to get to the way out.
Opinion: Before I dive into this review, I feel like I need to mention a few things first. So, in case you have never read anything else of mine, I love horror. Ranging from the horrifically bad to the insanely good I will watch it all and love or hate accordingly. It generally takes a lot for a film to genuinely scare me or get me to jump, even with the lights all out and the volume blasting, and afterwards I can just head off to bed with no fear of nightmares occurring because apparently I’m lucky like that. In all my years of watching horror, the general consensus has been that if the movie can get me tensed, clenched fists, heart racing, adrenaline pumping and the occasional “noooo don’t go in there you idiot!” yelled at the screen (never in a cinema, always in my house because I don’t want to be that person) then it’s deemed a great horror and will be recommended to all. Others that don’t do that will still of course be recommended but I may not ramble on about them for days to the point of annoyance.
Okay now that’s out of the way and you have a bit of back story about me and my horror watching, I can without further ado state that this movie about alligators attacking people in a house during a hurricane not only made me jump multiple times but also scream/shriek/make some weird noise that I never would have thought possible from my horror loving self. Yes, you heard me correctly, I was literally screaming during a movie which is something I’ve never done before and never thought I would ever do. I was, thankfully, in the comfort of my own home (watching an official screener, all above board I promise) which I also think allowed me to relax a bit and be more vocal than I normally ever would in say a public place like a cinema. However, I am slightly concerned that my neighbour may have thought I was being attacked……though no one came to check on me so is that even more concerning??
So why did this movie have such a profound effect on me? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this I mean the story is relatively basic, two people trapped in flooding area where alligators are trying to get them, the special effects are fine, not amazing just fine, and it’s a little convenient and corny at times BUT the execution is the thing that absolutely wins in every account. There is also more of everything, more water, more crazy situations, more alligators than I was ever expecting and way more attacks, violence and horrible situations than I had been prepared for. There is such a feeling of suspense the whole way through and those jump scares (which are plentiful) happen right during the moments that you’re busy realising it’s coming and bracing yourself and then before you can recover from that boom it happens again. It resulted in me just being one big ball of tension by the end and because I’m apparently crazy, I loved every minute of it.
So overall the concept isn’t new, the CGI isn’t the best but the timing, music, suspense and general epicness was spectacular and lifted this up to being one of my favourite creature feature horrors I’ve ever seen. I honestly recommend it and hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.
Scare Factor: Ummm do I really need to add this in? I guess the appropriate response is….see above.