film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Black Water: Abyss 2020 * * * Stars


"See you at the bottom". Bottom of a cave that is. That's where a killer crocodile is waiting for five guileless friends in Black Water: Abyss (my latest review). The croc is big, it's not too fake-looking, it's stealth, and it has a wicked first step.

Anyway, Black Water: Abyss earns its title cause the water is indeed black and the abyss, well it's almost bottomless. Shot in I'm thinking Australia (it's the accents and the surroundings) and almost Hitchcockian in the fact that we don't see the croc fully until the last twenty minutes, "Abyss" is far from being prototypical but it still packs a small wallop. Heck, because of movies like this the only body of water I'm treading in these days is a pool. 

Not overly gory, not overly claustrophobic, and containing a psychological twist involving three of the protagonists, "Abyss" starts out as prodding until the crocodile VS human action gets heightened in the film's tension-filled coda. It's like The Descent meets Crawl meets Aliens with "Abyss" being the fiscally restricted, compact version of those three flicks.

Directed by Andrew Traucki, featuring a well-padded film score by Michael Lira, and heralded as a sequel to 2007's Black Water (I didn't initially know that "Abyss" was a sequel), Black Water: Abyss gives the viewer enough reason to stay out of any loch and even more reason to avoid spelunking (that's the exploration of caves). 

Yeah the characters seem to have an endless supply of juice to keep their flashlights going. Yeah the croc-attacking jolts could be a little more startling and yeah, there's no sane reason why said characters would possibly want to enter a hazardous cavern (well there'd be no pic otherwise). Still, Black Water: Abyss somehow works as a low-budgeted, horror B movie made with limited production values that have admirable intentions. Cheers mate! Rating: 3 stars. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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