June 17, 2011

Black Water (2007)



"A terrifying tale of survival in the mangrove swamps of Northern Australia."

This is just a quick one as there is only so much I can say about a crocodile menacing three Aussies stuck up a tree for 89 minutes.

With lots of suspense, only a few moments where things lag, and very few but effective appearances by the crocodile itself, "Black Water" is one of the best crocodile movies that I've seen for a long time (possibly ever). Based very loosely on "true events" but starring real crocodiles rather than some nasty CGI, this film was very highly recommended to me.

I didn't really like the characters all that much apart from Grace, played by Diana Glenn, and even she annoyed me a couple of times. The most irritating however was final girl Lee, who, interestingly, was played by the real-life girlfriend of Sam Worthington from the other slightly less entertaining Australian crocodile movie of 2007, "Rogue". Maeve Dermody may be nice to look at but her accent was so thick and guttural when she shouted that it was like having a large rake dragged down a chalkboard. Her character needed to be slapped on several occasions too but nobody did it which was frustrating.

Overall, I still enjoyed "Black Water" though it could have been a lot gorier to please my sicker tastes. I know there were some obvious budgetary constraints as this film appears to have been made with a $700,000 grant from the Australian Film Commission. I'm forced to just accept that what they did was adequate for most people but a lot more thrashing, churning, screaming and blood-spurting everywhere surely wouldn't have cost them any extra. At least it was still rated R for "terror/violence and language".

If you enjoy films such as "Open Water" and "Frozen" then you'll like this. The believability of the predicament and use of tension more than make up for the lack of physical action and it's a thoroughly engrossing story even though it isn't actually true. I have, however, rated it as "Just Average" not because of any objectively assessed technical deficiencies but due to my own purely subjective taste.

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