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Movies

Ravenous alligators are loose in a flooded basement in ‘Crawl’: What could possibly go wrong?

Barry Pepper and Kaya Scodelario in “Crawl.”
Barry Pepper and Kaya Scodelario in “Crawl.”
(Sergej Radovic / Paramount Pictures)

New on Blu-ray

“Crawl” (Paramount DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99; also available on VOD)

One of the more entertaining and deftly plotted monster movies of recent years, the thriller stars Kaya Scodelario as Haley, a Florida college kid who returns to her coastal hometown during a Category 5 hurricane to check on her estranged father (Barry Pepper) and soon finds herself trapped in a rapidly flooding basement populated by ravenous giant alligators. Director Alexandre Aja and screenwriters Michael and Shawn Rasmussen jump into the action almost immediately, then keep escalating the danger in a rickety old house gradually being torn apart by wind, water and snapping beasties. “Crawl” wastes too much time on backstory and the mayhem sometimes ramps up so high that it’s hard to follow, but for the most part, this animal-attack picture has bite.

[Special features: Featurettes and deleted scenes]

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VOD

“Greener Grass” (available Oct. 18)

Fans of John Waters — and devotees of some of the more surreal Cartoon Network/Adult Swim series — will want to check out this dark comedy, written and directed by its stars, Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe. Set in a brightly colored, antiseptic suburb, the film follows two neighbors whose friendship is torn apart when in a rash moment of excessive politeness, one of the women offers to give the other her newborn baby. What follows is a strange tale of middle-class repression and envy, featuring funny supporting performances by skilled comic actors like Beck Bennett, Neil Casey and D’Arcy Carden.

TV set of the week

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“Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans” (Warner Bros. DVD, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.98; also available on VOD)

The popularity of “Teen Titans Go!” on the Cartoon Network has been bittersweet to hard-core fans of “Teen Titans,” an earlier animated series that featured the same characters — with the same voice-actors — but with stories that by and large were less silly and more faithful to the superhero team’s original comics. Now, this standalone movie brings the two shows together, via a dimension-hopping tale that pits these very different teams against some of their common enemies. Aimed at longtime viewers of both programs, this brisk and likely feature film is filled with inside jokes and winks to the viewer and is also genuinely exciting.

[Special features: Bonus episodes and featurettes]

From the archives

“The Omen Collection” (Scream! Factory Blu-ray, $79.97)

After 1973’s “The Exorcist” became an enormous, Oscar-winning hit, both A-list producers and B-movie mavens alike scrambled to get their own “devil movies” to the screen. One of the most enduring films of that heady era is 1976’s “The Omen,” directed by Richard Donner and written by David Seltzer, with Gregory Peck playing a high-level U.S. diplomat who secretly agrees to adopt a baby who may be the literal spawn of Satan. The picture captured the public imagination and generated three sequels and and a 2006 remake — all of which are included in this new Blu-ray box set. For the most part, the franchise is pretty trashy; but it’s popular for good reason. These movies skillfully poke at viewers’ fears of a biblical evil.

[Special features: Commentary tracks and new and vintage featurettes]

Three more to see

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“Stuber” (20th Century Fox DVD, $14.96; Blu-ray, $19.96; also available on VOD); “3 From Hell” (Lionsgate DVD, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99; 4K, $29.99; also available on VOD); “Twin Peaks: The Television Collection” (Paramount DVD, $55.98; Blu-ray, $76.99)


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