A stylish, slow-burning debut feature

There are traces of the Coen brothers crawling all over Crawl, from the opening gas station sequence - a riff on No Country For Old Men’s coin toss - to its gallery of criminals and drifters populating the Aussie town where wholesome barmaid Marilyn (Georgina Haig) is caught in the wake of a murderous double-cross and taken hostage by a Croatian cowboy (George Shevtsov).

Stylish, slow-burning and veering into torture territory, British director Paul China’s debut feature is crammed with tension yet light on action.

The result is gory and stark, but no Blood Simple.

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