05th Jul2019

‘Scrawl’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Mark Forester Evans, Daisy Ridley, Liam Hughes, Joe Daly, Annabelle Le Gresley, Nathalie Pownall, Elizabeth Boag, Chris Casey, Ellie Selwood, Morag Sims, Catherine Ruddick, Derek Jones, PennyJo Koviou, Alice May Ferngrove | Written and Directed by Peter Hearn


I’d say 99% of people viewing Scrawl are doing so because they heard it stars Daisy Ridley, who has since starred in couple of slightly more popular movies (Star Wars in case you’ve been living under a rock). I was one of those ninety nine percent.

The basic concept here is that a teenage boy discovers that stuff he writes and has drawn down in his comic book starts to actually happen in real life. Not a particularly original story but not a poor one either. Only Scrawl takes this idea and adds what feels like a million more ideas, blends them all together and then throws them about the place in whichever order they might appear. For the most part Scrawl is a confusing mess of a movie. Are we seeing the past, the present or the future? Or is it none of these at all? It might be what is happening in the comic coming to life or it might be something else entirely, I was never quite sure.

The filmmakers don’t seem to put too much effort into explaining things. We get very few glimpses of the actual comic to give us an idea of what might be happening, the characters don’t even talk about it that much. Why did the girl’s camera start becoming a useful weapon when taking photos??? Who knows, I certainly didn’t.

About half way through the movie we suddenly see a half decent amount of blood and gore. Leading me to think that maybe a bit of violence and some good practical effects might save things a little bit. But this wasn’t the case. The majority of blood we see is just when it is smeared around characters faces.

Scrawl does seem to have a little bit of dark comedy but because of how the rest of the movie is, I’m not sure how intentional it is. The moment that got the biggest,well maybe only,laugh from me is when one character decides to stand-up to the enemy – a zombie of sorts, it sounds more exciting than it is). With only a fork as a weapon he soon changes his mind and exclaims “nope”, quickly turns around and runs out of the nearest door.

Apart from the comedy, Star Wars fans will be glad to know that Daisy Ridley is by far the biggest highlight of Scrawl. She doesn’t get too much screen time (although her role is important and more than a cameo) but she does show that she has about one million times the charisma and acting ability of the rest of the cast put together. Obviously this is easier to say in hindsight but I’m not saying if I saw this four or five years ago I would have thought Ridley would be the lead in a new Star Wars movie. It is clear though that she is a talented actress. Even when given some pretty poor dialogue.

In short, fans of Daisy Ridley will get the most from this film because when she is on screen she’s entertaining. But when she’s not, there’s nothing else of note to talk about.

* 1/5

Scrawl is available on VOD and DVD in the US now, from Wild Eye Releasing.


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