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Warning: uber SPOILERS for Crawl are going to be discussed. So if you want to stay away from any plot points present in this lightning fast thrill ride, come back once you’ve finished seeing the film.
You wouldn't think that a film with a slim and sleek 87 minute running time would hide many easter eggs. In that sort of a short time frame, you have to get in, get out and close the curtain before too much time passes. That's a strategy especially valid when talking about director Alexandre Aja’s vicious horror-thriller Crawl.
As the film is a short and effective thrill ride, the story that traps a father-daughter team in a crawlspace full of water, and two hungry alligators, needs to be told through expertly trimmed narrative. Every ounce of fat needs to be trimmed, so as not to slow down the proceedings; though this doesn't mean that Crawl is completely devoid of such hidden treasures. Recently, we learned about one such reference that was snuck in, right under our noses and in plain sight.
During the press roundtables for Crawl, CinemaBlend was on hand to hear Barry Pepper himself reveal an easter egg that, quite literally, tells the entire story. However, it’s not as if a glowing red sign was pointing towards the house, saying whether or not the dog would survive.
Rather, this spoiler is coded in Bible verse, and as we learned first-hand, it spells out the overall skeleton of the film’s plot and message.
In addition to notes about his character’s experiences in Crawl, the text of Matthew 7:25 was written in the cover of a notebook that Pepper showed us as he discussed his role in the film. Which prompted him to open our discussion by sharing this:
Here’s a little easter egg for you guys. This is my, I don’t know if I should tell you this, this is my license plate on my truck: 'Matt725.' ‘And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat upon that house. And it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.’
If you remove the alligators from Crawl’s narrative, the scripture above basically spells out what the film would have been like if it were more dramatic and less chompy. You could practically see that version of Crawl in your head, with all of the other events that befell Barry Pepper’s Dave and Kaya Scodelario’s Haley falling right in line with what the bible says in that specific package.
The rain descends, floods do indeed come and the wind throws a lot of different obstacles towards the Keller family house that Dave refuses to let go to another family. With the house surviving the story, Crawl basically does what it says on its tin, which probably holds communion wafers among the plot point it spells out.
Rather than being content with somewhat biblical events pushing this family into a confrontation that would bring them closer together, writers Michael and Shawn Rassmussen threw in the extra conceit of hungry alligators doing what nature programmed them to do. The rest is Crawl history, which has also seen this small-scale production raking an impressive amount of money in its first weekend of release.
To be honest, this is one of those easter eggs that you really need to keep an eye out for. Seeing as Crawl is intended to act as a fast and vicious disaster thriller that throws humanity up against said hungry alligators, the audience would be forgiven for missing the license plate on the truck Dave uses for his construction business.
It’s kind of like the microwave setting for snakes hidden in Snakes On A Plane: you’re not really looking for it in the moment, but when you find it, you’ll always know where to find it. Now we’re wondering if there’s any other cute easter eggs or in-jokes hiding in the waters that Crawl throws its audience into.
While it doesn’t play too much of a role in the story, it’s cool to know that inspiration struck at the right time to leave such a deep cut reference out in the open for all to see. Now the only question is, will audiences be fast enough to catch this moment in the film, or is it a moment that will have to wait for audiences to freeze frame that portion of the film?
Should that genre not be your speed, the overall 2019 release schedule will help you find something worth your while. There’s options out there, and much like alligators, they’re pretty easy to find under the right conditions.