Black Water (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/02/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Watchable crocky horror flick that makes the most of its low budget and simple set-up, though the characters aren't especially engaging and you keep hoping they'll get eaten.

What's it all about?
Based on true events, Black Water stars Diana Glenn as Grace, a young woman who heads off on a road trip in northern Australia with her boyfriend Adam (Andy Rodoreda) and her little sister Lee (Maeve Dermody). The trio take a river tour of an isolated mangrove in the Outback, but things go horribly wrong when a ferocious crocodile capsizes their boat and eats their guide (Ben Oxenbould).

Panic-stricken, Grace, Lee and Adam all take refuge in a tree and try to find some way of getting back to the upturned boat. However, the crocodile is still hungry and settles in for a long wait.

The Good
Black Water (not to be confused with Dark Water or Open Water) is part of the burgeoning sub-genre of Don't-Go-To-Australia-Or-You-Will-Be-KILLED movies that also includes the likes of Gone and Wolf Creek. However, the fact that it's based on true events doesn't really add anything here, other than to hammer home the fact that yes, crocodiles do eat people.

Given that almost the entire movie takes place in a swamp-bound tree, Black Water is surprisingly suspenseful, largely thanks to the filmmakers' decision not to show the crocodile for the first half of the film. For the second half, co-writer-directors Nerlich and Traucki come up with a number of nail-biting ways to force the characters into the water and the commendably non-CGI croc is used sparingly to increasingly tense effect.

The Bad
The only real problem is that the characters aren't especially engaging and an attempt to add depth to Grace feels shoe-horned in and doesn't really work. Basically, by the end of the fim, you'll pretty much be rooting for the crocodile.

Worth seeing?
This is an effectively claustrophobic horror flick that delivers plenty of croc-based suspense. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 25/04/2019 21:12

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