Withholding a film from the press until the very day that it opens is usually the surest sign said film is a catastrophe. (The recent example of Luc Besson’s misfiring assassin thriller Anna proves this point quite perfectly.) So when Paramount decided not to screen the Sam Raimi-produced horror Crawl, assumptions inevitably slithered through the critical community, another underwhelming summer stinker predicted. It is, then, with genuine surprise and relieved pleasure that I can say Crawl is far from the mess one might assume. And while it’s also far from perfect, it’s a great deal more successful than many of the season’s more hyped offerings.
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