Where the Crawdads Sing

On its surface, Where the Crawdads Sing appears to be a rather maudlin murder mystery wrapped within the sappy folds of a modern YA romance. But a calculated look beneath its mucky veneer reveals something much more compelling. Something much deeper than even its swampy setting can hide.

The film stars Daisy Edgar-Jones in what promises to be her major breakout role (despite a healthy TV resume) as Kya Clark, also known as “the marsh girl” by the rural Carolina townsfolk who know little about her, yet assume a lot.


"it’s the journey that brings pleasure - and perhaps a few tears – to this old school Southern drama"

When Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson, The King’s Man), the town’s star quarterback and heir apparent to the local Western Auto repair shop, turns up dead in the marsh, the small town's populace is quick to blame Kya for the murder.

Abandoned and treated badly since childhood by an abusive father and even worse by the townspeople who get wrapped up in the idea of the mythic “marsh girl” who lives alone out in the swamp, Kya is simply a misunderstood and abandoned young woman that nobody helps. It’s easier to ignore the outcasts and those who live on the fringes of society than it is to help them. And that becomes the central theme at the heart of Where the Crawdads Sing. Certainly a relevant sentiment in today’s “me, me me” world that is so eloquently related when Kya says, “people forget about the creatures that live in shells.”

Told almost entirely in flashback, Where the Crawdads Sing immediately throws us into the conflict at hand. Before the body has even gone cold, the town erupts into speculation that “the marsh girl” did it. And director Olivia Newman, who works with a mostly all female crew, does a great job capturing the escalating frenzy of both the town people and the police as she is arrested and jailed before it has even been determined if it was an accident or a murder. As Kya is captured and hauled into jail, a great sense of abandonment and loneliness begins to take shape as the frenzy of the crowd watching her arrest, suddenly gives way to the silence of a jail cell.Where the Crawdads Sing

Edgar-Jones, who tosses her London accent for a perfect Southern drawl, takes total control of the film. It is all hers, and she nails it with a spectacular performance. Her Kya shows both a jittery vulnerability and a steadfast resilience, traits that are difficult to pull off in a single role. But her character grows stronger and more likable as the story plays out. We buy – hook, line, and sinker - into her romantic flings with both Chase Andrews and Tate Walker (Taylor John Smith), yet never for one minute do we doubt her resolve and ability to survive the harsh, unfriendly confines of the marsh. She and the marsh become one.

The film also stars Davis Strathairn as the kind attorney who comes out of retirement to take Kya’s case, Ahna O’Reilly as her battered ma, Garret Dillahunt as her drunken, abusive father, and Michael Hyatt and Sterling Macer Jr. are a pair of local general store owners who befriend Kya at an early age and trade the mussels she brings in for groceries.

But there’s no bigger character than the North Carolina salt marsh itself as Newman and cinematographer Polly Morgan spend as much time with nature as they do with the human characters. And the film is much better because of it. They develop a beautifully rendered visual language that perfectly illustrates Kya’s heartbreaking story of isolation and survival.

Where the Crawdads Sing is far from perfect and not every beat hits its mark. The story feels a bit rushed in places and occasionally dips into goopy melodrama – particularly during the romance scenes. Also, Kya’s decision making gets a bit sloppy and out of character in later sequences. Yes, we have it all figured out way before the closing act, but it’s the journey that brings pleasure - and perhaps a few tears – to this old school Southern drama.

3/5 stars


Where the Crawdads Sing

Blu-ray Details

Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- September 13, 2022
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English; English SDH, French, Spanish
Engish 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Sony Pictures brings us a nice little Blu-ray + DVD + Digital 2-disc set that does supreme justice to this old school Southern drama.

Included inside the blue eco-case are a DVD copy of the film, a blu-ray disc, and a digital redemption coupon. The case is housed in a cardboard slipcover that sports the film's main poster.

As far as extras go, there's not an abundance, but there is a handful of really neat special features, including some EPK items, inside stories, and a few deleted scenes. Aside from the immersive sound provided by the movie, these extras sell the package.


The 1080p HD 2.39:1 picture is a thing of beauty, with warm sunsets that pop off the screen, while lush, perfectly-lit exterior shots in the marshes become the predominant setting.

Interiors are dark yet hold detail very well. We noticed no compression issues and, for the most part, it displays much like it appeared in theaters. Very solid transfer.


The English language 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio track is a thing of beauty as well, but not for the reasons you might think. It isn't loud. It is never bombastic, and it won't knock your picture frames off the wall. It's not that kind of film.

What it will do is mesmerize with its atmospherics. While the dialogue is always clean, crisp, perfectly audible and mostly front centered, the entire room gets worked over by the sounds of marsh life. Croaks of frogs, chirps of cicadas, and sounds of who knows what other kinds of creatures envelope us in a cocoon of ambience. This 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio track is reason enough to buy the package.

And though the disc does not contain a Dolby atmos track, it's undeniable that the upper reaches of the room come alive with the sounds of the marsh. How does that even happen?

Overall, this is a totally immersive experience that does great justice to this mostly overlooked gem of a film. Strongly recommend.



  • None

Special Features:

Included on the blu-ray disc are a handful of featurettes, a music video and some deleted scenes.

  • Lyric Video: "Carolina" by Taylor Swift
  • Creating the World
  • Women in Focus
  • Deleted Scenes
  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars


Film Details

Where the Crawdads Sing

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and some violence including a sexual assault.
125 mins
: Olivia Newman
Lucy Alibar
Daisy Edgar-Jones; Taylor John Smith; Harris Dickinson
: Drama | Mystery | Thriller
Secrets are Buried Just Beneath the Surface.
Memorable Movie Quote: "people forget about the creatures that live in shells."
Theatrical Distributor:
Sony Pictures
Official Site: https://www.sonypictures.com/movies/wherethecrawdadssing
Release Date:
July 15, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 13, 2022
Synopsis: Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh.


Where the Crawdads Sing