Set in Northern Australia, the film opens with a couple who seem to be lost while bushwalking. The couple have no idea how to get back on the track, and they both encounter an enormous killer crocodile.
Fast forward to the present day. Five close friends reunite and decide to explore an underground cave system at the same location as the missing victims. The film’s introduction to the leading characters tells us many things and that there are some unresolved matters between these friends. Some of these include one of the girls knowing she is pregnant, but she hasn’t told her partner yet. Another of the couples suspects their partner might be unfaithful and is keeping their options open.
The five friends arrive at the cave, and everything seems to be providing a fantastic experience, unlike anything they have ever seen before. But during their exploration a storm hits unexpectedly, flooding the caves and trapping our five leads. To make matters worse, they are not alone. Circling in the flooded cave lurks a large crocodile- one who is not pleased at five people invading his home. With the cave filling up with water, the clock is now ticking. Will all five characters make it out alive and survive the large killer crocodile who is extremely hungry?
As far as positives go, the film’s visuals are outstanding. This is not just because the film was shot in my home town of Brisbane, Australia (although that is very cool too), but landscapes and even the dark caves were well shot and great to see on the big screen.
The introduction of the film is well-paced, and it doesn’t take long for the film to introduce its characters and the cave with its problems. While the very first scene may seem familiar and cliché, it was a nice introduction to the mysterious killer crocodile that would invade the big screen in due time.
Speaking of the crocodile itself, it also looks great and real. That is because it is a real crocodile which has been used for the film. What this film was able to achieve with the use of a live crocodile was impressive, especially when characters needed to act or respond to it.
As for issues with the film, there are some. Regarding the plot, I cannot deny that it feels similar, particularly when it comes to the scenario of being trapped with a large creature. Some information feels forced on its audience. One major twist within the film was predictable for me, but this naturally may differ for others.
Overall, Black Water: Abyss is a fun, brainless creature feature film. This is the type of film you share with friends, and the film allows you to switch off from the world. The film visuals are stunning and well-presented, plus I truly enjoyed what the film was able to do with the use of a real crocodile. Even if movie lovers find any flaws, there is certainly an audience who will enjoy the film, especially as a guilty pleasure.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden