Black Water Abyss 2020
Description: Five friends exploring a remote cave system in Northern Australia find themselves threatened by a hungry crocodile.
It’s funny to see how much horror has taken off in this VOD-only period, perhaps comforting viewers in the sense that it could always be worse. In a long history of cautionary vacation films that I like to call “don’t leave your couch movies” comes Australia’s “Black Water: Abyss,” a sequel to a little-seen but cult hit 2007 film called “Black Water.” The set-up and execution are almost charmingly simple—send five people into a cave system with rising waters and a killer croc and see what happens next.
My general affinity for monster movies carried me through most of this B-movie, but the execution leaves something to be desired, particularly in its murky underwater cinematography and filmmaking tricks that turn the killer croc into something out of a slasher movie. “Black Water: Abyss” is one of those movies that isn’t particularly good but may not have to be if you’re in the right mood.
Two couples carry a lot of non-physical baggage on an Australian spelunking trip. Eric (Luke Mitchell) and Jennifer (Jessica McNamee) are introduced with her checking his phone for signs of trouble in the relationship, so you know they’re not stable enough to be thrust into a life-or-death situation.
On the other hand, Viktor (Benjamin Hoetjes) knows a thing or two about death, having just come out of successful cancer treatment. While he’d rather be resting, his girlfriend Yolanda (Amali Golden), who just discovered she’s pregnant, encourages him to go on a spelunking trip. A cheating boyfriend, a pregnant girlfriend, a recovering cancer patient—one has to give director Andrew Traucki credit for at least trying to give his inevitable croc food some distinguishing characteristics.
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror