Jump to: Spoilers (5)
Early in the film, Dave's truck license plate says MATT 725, seen out the garage door during the hurricane. Matthew 7:25 in the Bible reads "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." (NIV)
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Out of all the movies that were released in 2019, Quentin Tarantino has selected this one as his favorite.
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It was Kaya Scodelario 's idea for her character to be barefoot for most of the movie. In an article, she stated that she fought to have her character barefoot because she knew, as a woman if you step in poop or mud in flip flops, your instinct is to take them off.
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The last name of the main protagonists is 'Keller', which is the German word for 'basement'. The largest part of the film takes place in a basement. However, it remains arguable whether this was intended by the film makers.
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This is the first horror film Sam Raimi produced in many years without his longtime producing partner Rob Tapert
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The two leads, Kaya Scodelario (Hayley) and Barry Pepper (Dave), also starred together in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) and Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018).
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There were no press screenings for this film.
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When Haley drives through the storm with the dog sitting in the passenger's seat, the entire stage is a water tank and consists of a town with wooden houses, gardens, a petrol station and a playground. This scene was set inside a stationery car against a blue screen on the set. The trainer leaned down in the backseat to cue the dog to stay seated. Outside of the car there was wind, rain and debris (leaves) hitting the windows The dog action, SFX and VFX were discussed in full before filming the scene. The dogs exposure to the SFX outside of the car was limited. All loose materials on set were removed prior to the wind machines being used. Strict safety controls were in place for crew and animals entering the water tank. A minimum of two divers were on set at all times. The dogs had all been fully trained to swim and training videos were made available to me prior to filming. The water was filtered throughout the day and was maintained at a temperature of 29 degrees. There were predetermined dry safe areas allocated for the dogs use in the flooded area prior to each part.
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Although the film is set in Florida, six of the eight top-billed actors are from UK, one from Canada and one from Croatia.
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In the scene where Haley walks into the house, looking for her father, a tree crashes through the window and the dog runs throughout the house, the scene was filmed in different parts. The set was built inside a large water tank and consisted of a house. The entire house was inside the water tank and as the days progressed the water levels will rose. Before shooting commenced the trainers rehearsed with the dog in the corridor and going through the dog flap, rewarding her with sausage each time he came through.
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In the scene where Haley walks into an abandoned house and first encounters her father's dog, the dog had two trainers and was brought to set on a collar and lead. The lead was taken off during filming and all the doors to the outside were closed. The dog was prepped by his trainer to run to the actress on cue. The actress and the dog spent time together rehearsing prior to filming.
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In the scene where Haley looks down in the basement and the dog follows suite, barking, off-camera the trainers did some "speak" training with the dog using hand signals to encourage her to bark. When the girl walks downstairs to basement and a rat runs past her, the handlers used wooden light boxes with buzzers to train and film with the rats. When the rats were released by the handler, the light and buzzer in the box was triggered by the trainers and the rat ran towards the green light and into the boxes.
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In the scene where the actor carries the dog across the river, there were dog wranglers and safety divers in wetsuits for safety. The dog loves to swim and has prepped playing in the water. The water is safe for people and animals and is tested 3 times per day. It was warm water and there were dry areas on set inside the houses where the dog was dried off with towels in-between takes. The dog was handed to the actor before action and given back to the trainers after cut on each. The dog base was just outside the studio where production have provided an air conditioned tent where the dogs were all inside separate carriers. Just before each take there were four large fans and water machines creating a storm like conditions of heavy rain and winds.
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Whenever we see the dog recoil from the sound of thunder and lightning, the trainer simply cued the dog to act scared and hide under the table.
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In the scene where the cop knocks on the door and the dog barks, the trainer hid behind the door with the dog flap open. When the dog looked at the trainer through the flap, the trainer was able to hand signal for him to stand still and bark. When the policeman walked through the house with the dog following him, the trainer let the dog go and he followed the actor through the house.
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Sugar the dog is a mixed breed.
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In the scene when the dog scratches at the floor in the kitchen, the trainers led the dog to the set. A mark was placed on the area the dog was supposed to scratch. On action, the trainers used verbal and hand signals to get the dog to scratch the floor on command.
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The burglars who rob the gas station are named Marv, Stan and Lee, which is a nod to Marvel creator Stan Lee. Coincidentally, Sam Raimi, who produced this film, directed three Spider-Man films.
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Director Alexander Aja revealed that the dog 'Sugar' was originally meant to die, stating: "We were back and forth with, should the dog sacrifice itself? Should the dog be fed to the alligators to save someone? Should the dog lose a part of his body?" he recalled. That's a bunch of horrifying ideas. At least if the dog sacrificed itself it would have been a noble end, but the idea of throwing Sugar to the alligators to save another person probably would have made audiences turn on the protagonists. "But I think at the end we chose to not do it because the interesting part was to make people feel that the dog was not going to make it, for the whole movie," Aja said, alluding to the fact that so much goes wrong in Crawl that it's shocking that the dog makes it out at all. Which is, in all fairness, the reason we asked in the first place. And yet, there's one more reason Sugar survives in Crawl. "And also to keep him alive for the sequel," Aja probably jokes, "where we see the whole movie through his eyes and all the alligators he was fighting on the surface while they were in the crawlspace."
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Body count: 5
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The action scenes draw heavily from Jurassic Park (1993). The alligators are said to have vision based on movement, just like the T-Rex, so at different times the protagonists can escape detection by standing still. One main character has their arm bitten off, and another is helped to safety whilst nursing a leg wound bound with a tourniquet. One scene shows main characters freezing in fear whilst pointing a torch straight in to the eye of the antagonist reptile. The alligators are shown to hunt in threes, with one distracting from the front whilst the other two swoop in from the sides, just like the velociraptors. The main action takes place during a hurricane.
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