BLACK WATER (2007) Review

Directed by: Andrew Traucki, David Nerlich
Starring: Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody, Andy Rodoreda

I thought I'd do this review with the other crocodile thriller Rogue fresh in my mind, so I can compare the two. Although the two films are both about a group of people being trapped and hunted by a crocodile, they couldn't be more different. Where Rogue delivers a fairly large group with some well know talent (Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington, Mia Wasikowska), Black Water is centered around a trio made up of pretty much unknowns. And while the former film obviously had a multimillion dollar budget, this one was made for much less.
Rogue is a fictional account of a massive 30 foot monster reptile while Black Water is supposedly based on real events, and features a more realistic sized beast. 
The tension in Black Water probably surpasses that of Rogue, with the water level camera work helping to add some chills. But overall it seems to lack something. 

The main characters Grace (Glenn), Lee (Dermody) and Adam (Rodoreda) decide to explore some of the Australian landscape and after visiting a crocodile farm, they take a fishing trip. Before long their boat has been upturned and their guide is killed and they are forced to take refuge in a tree in the vast mangrove swamp. With nobody knowing where they are, and no means of communication (mobile phones and water don't mix) they have to make the decision to stay and wait for help or try to right the boat and escape. But the crocodile has other ideas.

The acting is above average but not fantastic, and the writing is great. Unfortunately though, Black Water suffers from the same problem that other similar films do. There's only so much time you can watch a small group of people trapped in the same spot without it getting tired and repetitive. And with a cast of only three, you already know that one of them will survive which doesn't leave a lot of room for gory death scenes.

The fact that this film is based on real events is supposed to make it more frightening, but unfortunately it seems to fall short. The fact that everything in Rogue (the cast, the crocodile, the special effects) is bigger and better is what makes it such a superior film. Black Water tries hard, but in the end it seems to lack bite.

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