Noob Reviews: Black Water: Abyss
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Black Water: Abyss?
Released some thirteen years after the original, Black Water: Abyss is the Black Water franchise’s latest entry. And sees a group of thrill-seeking friends looking to explore a previously undiscovered cave network in the hopes of discovering a gold vein or other precious resources they can sell. Unfortunately for them, the cave network is not abandoned and is home to a crocodile that survives from devouring the curious and hunting local wildlife.
Unfortunately for the group, as a storm sets in and the rivers above ground begin to flood, the caves below are starting to fill with water meaning whether they are prepared or not they are about to come nose to snout with the predator hunting them.
What type of genre is the film?
Black Water: Abyss is a creature feature horror film with elements of suspense.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from YouTube Movies’ YouTube channel -
When was Black Water: Abyss released?
Black Water: Abyss was released in July last year (2020).
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Black Water: Abyss?
Being a huge horror film fan, I will watch anything from any country as long as it catches my eye. The Australians do have a fantastic array of horror films under their belts: both your bog-standard horror genres (like slashers etc.) and even other creature features. However, having seen Black Water and now Black Water: Abyss - the Black Water series of films fails to hold a light to other Australian greats.
The story throughout Black Water: Abyss is as generic as they come for a creature feature. You have the dark unexplored area that brave (amateur) adventurers want to explore. The deadly predator no one knew existed and has been living under their noses for years. And the tragic romance/love story where group member X is sleeping with group member Y behind group member Z’s back. From the off this was a disappointment as you could see all of the plot unfolding well in advance of critical events occurring.
Although the cast was obviously trying their best, some lines’ delivery lacked conviction when it comes to the acting. The reactions and various stages of fear just seemed off and not quite right as it varied quite a lot from scene to scene. And the hit in the feels you might expect when main characters died, never came. The characters were just dull and lacked any real screen presence to keep you invested or make them memorable. If I had to describe the film to someone new to the horror scene, it would probably be that Black Water: Abyss is to horror as Hallmark movies are to cinema.
From an effects point of view, the crocodile looked and acted a lot more realistically in Abyss than in the original Black Water and definitely had more of a sinister presence. The effects for the flooding caves, how the lights were used and how the group was thinned member by member were also all very well-staged. But when getting too close to the crocodile - it really lost its appeal. Instead of the fearsome predator, you saw from afar, it resembled something as man-made or unrealistic as the Lake Placid films’ antagonists, which was a bit of a shame. In one scene, you might feel the terror and suspense build and in the next, find yourself thinking ‘well that’s fake’ which really killed the atmosphere and tension that had been building.
As creature features go, Black Water: Abyss is far from the worst out there but doesn’t really compare to other Australian croc horrors like Rogue. The scenery is fantastic, the location is beautiful, and the thought of the group been trapped miles beneath the earth in flooding tunnels can really send the chills down your spine, but that is probably the scariest part of the film. Admittedly though, there are a few jump scares, which might still surprise you because of their timing even though you know they are coming.
Running at just under one hour and forty minutes, Black Water: Abyss is watchable but nothing to really write home about. There are far better creature features out there and far better Australian horror films. However, as it is currently making the rounds on quite a few streaming platforms, it would be something that could kill a few hours on a weekend or evening if you had nothing else planned and it piqued your interest.
What rating would you give Black Water: Abyss?
I would rate Black Water: Abyss as a 2.6 out of 5 bananas.
Black Water: Abyss is more bark than bite, and it is really let down by a poorly executed generic story, questionable crocodile effects and overused stereotypical creature feature tropes. Although it offers nothing new to the genre, it is slightly improved over the original film and is an easy, if not forgettable watch.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Black Water: Abyss and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out on Blu Ray, DVD, Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video (to name but a few streaming services).