Who doesn’t like a good creature feature film? Whether it’s a straight up monster or something far more seated in reality like a good shark flick or like in this case a crocodilian based feature! This movie was directed by the director of the Hills have Eyes and Piranha 3d (so he knows what to do with water based badass animals right?). And on top of that creator of the Evil Dead franchise and all out mack daddy horror producer Sam Raimi was involved as producer of this movie too – Has to be good right?
Oh so wrong!
Where do I start…
To say I had high expectations is an understatement as I’m a huge fan of Sam Raimi, and I just hope that he only had a very small hand in the production of this movie as it is such a massive let down.
The main reason for this is that if you’re basing your whole movie around actual animals and their behaviour in actual natural disasters (oh yeah its a disaster movie too), then those behaviours and more importantly their affects on the human body have to be at least someone factually accurate. You can’t take normal animals, treat them like normal animals and change almost everything about them and their life cycle – from their eggs incubating and hatching under water down to how to avoid one swimming straight past you!
When it comes to injuries they also really down play them while being incredibly generous as to what you can still do without any real issues after having sustained and lived with those injuries for several hour in swamp water.
It’s super inconsistent throughout I’m just so glad that they didn’t try to anywhere add in based (even loosely) on true events, because it is entirely based on a pre-pubescent boys doodle of an alligator in a hurricane.
If the gators had been subjected to some kind of laboratory testing, there had been a toxic leak in the swamp or it has some kind of maniacal hybrid it would have made this as dumb as sharknado but done so on purpose, which would have wound it all the way back round to being fun cause it’s so dumb. This is just wrong in all the right and wrong places.
When I first saw the trees and bushes and how little they moved in a category 4 hurricane, I was actually expecting this to be a fun, silly creature feature, but they tried to make it far too serious.
Speaking of how the hurricane looked though, I must say that visually, the lighting and effects on the clouds and the rest of the sky are very imporessive and it does feel like a Raimi movie. It set a very specific scene, and promised some tongue in cheek action – it just didn’t quite deliver. I really do wish they’d ramped up the silly a little to make it less of what it turned in to.
It’s got a pretty small cast, and there’s no need to get too attached to most of them. I’m not saying they all die, but death or otherwise you don’t see much of anyone other than Hayley (Kaya Scodelario) and her dad, Dave (Barry Pepper)… You see their dog Sugar more than you see any other people in the film!
Scodelario is a British actress who started out in the tv show Skins and has had some movie roles in the mean time too. She is relatively convincing in an American role to be honest and her acting is ok, it fits in with the feel of the movie, which in general feels relatively low budget. Pepper on the other hand is a seasoned actor who is absolutely top notch in Saving private Ryan (in my opinion his best role) and the Green Mile, so to be honest I felt that his performance in this film was a little weak and he was outshone by his younger co-star. His role as injured man is inconsistent throughout at best!
It does have some redeeming features though!
Firstly the murky swamp and hurricane water is delightfully clear to allow you to see all of the action as if you were in a bath tub or swimming pool at worst. And secondly, the gators look pretty damn good!
I wanted to like this film so very much, but honestly I only kept watching to see what else they get wrong and was pretty glad that it was only an hour and 27 minutes long.