Black Water: Abyss

Neal Kingston, Michael Robertson, Luke Mitchell, Amali Golden, Jessica McNamee, Anthony J. Sharpe, and Jack Christian in Black Water: Abyss (2020)

The scariest moments in film are not always because of deadly slashers or a nightmare demon, it’s the scares that exist in our reality that can make us feel at our most uneased. Films like Jaws, The Ghost and the Darkness and Crawl used animals to instill fear in its viewers. The tension is built around the unknown actions of these ferocious animals acting on pure instinct. Director Andrew Traucki is no stranger to films like these as his previous films Black Water, The Reef and The Jungle all revolve around people coming face to face with the most deadly predators on the planet.

Traucki’s newest film Black Water: Abyss is a pseudo sequel to his own 2007 film Black Water where a group of tourists travel into the depths of Australia and fight for their lives against a killer crocodile. I will admit I have not seen the original film but judging by the trailer his follow up has shown the evolution of the director along with the benefits of having a larger budget. Jessica McNamee (The Meg), Luke Mitchell (Marvel’s Agents of Shield), Amali Golden and Benjamin Hoetjes are the pour souls along with their guide played by Anthony Sharpe that are put through this heart pounding encounter. The dynamic between everyone gels smoothly and each fit into the narrative just as you would predict, nothing negative but after seeing so many films like these you start to see the patterns.

I feel what gave Traucki an added element to use was the underground cave. Akin to The Descent the setting places the viewer in a very tight environment that makes a scary situation all the much worse. The condensed space does not allow the viewer to feel safe/comfortable much like the characters; we know something is going to happen but the uncertainty of when is that much more unnerving. In these elements I feel Traucki offers a suspenseful thriller but he seemed to drift off course towards the film’s conclusion. Not to give any spoilers but the plot twist towards the end I felt was unnecessary and was only used to push a story that offered no substance. On top of that Traucki also felt the need to add an ending after what I thought was a strong and suitable enough conclusion; what follows was another unnecessary scene that only took up time and compared to everything else was borderline ridiculous.

Rating:

2.5 out of 5

Film will be released Friday August 7th

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