Black Water: Abyss (2020) reviews and overview

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[Total: 34   Average: 1.9/5]

‘Descend into fear’

Black Water: Abyss is a 2020 Australian action-horror feature film about a group of friends exploring a remote cave system in Northern Australia. Unfortunately, they find themselves threatened by a pack of crocodiles.

The movie is a sequel to Black Water (2007) and will apparently “retain the feel of the original, which largely eschewed CGI and was shot with live crocodiles.”

Directed by Andrew Traucki (The Jungle; The Reef; Black Water) from a screenplay written by John Ridley [as Ian John Ridley] and Sarah Smith, the movie stars Jessica McNamee (Mortal Kombat; The Meg; The Loved Ones), Luke Mitchell, Amali Golden (Monster Problems; The Invisible Man) and Anthony J. Sharpe (Hunter’s Moon).

Plot:

Adventure-loving couple Eric and Jennifer convince their friends, Yolanda and Viktor, to explore a remote, uncharted cave system in the forests of Northern Australia. With a tropical storm approaching, they abseil into the mouth of the cave, knowing they’ll be safe underground. However, when the caves start to flood, tensions rise as oxygen levels fall and the group find themselves lost, disoriented, and trapped.

Little do they know, the dank air and rising water are the least of their worries. They discover the storm has brought in a pack of apex predators – dangerous and hungry crocodiles. As danger mounts, long-kept secrets emerge and the friends turn on each other in a frantic fight for survival…

Release:

In the UK, Altitude is releasing the film theatrically on 10th July 2020. A DVD release by Altitude Film Distribution follows on 2nd November 2020. Order via Amazon.co.uk

Screen Media will release Black Water: Abyss in the USA on August 7, 2020.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The very idea of applying a vicious animal to The Descent formula teases a level of unrelenting dread and claustrophobic terror that this sequel never comes close to achieving. A few memorable moments, scares, and a promising opening scene shows promise. Still, all of it is undermined by a severe lack of depth, overwrought drama, and suspense that can’t maintain any momentum.” Bloody Disgusting

Abyss does benefit from a handful of very effective set pieces, particularly in its second half. However, these are undercut by the lack of depth behind the characters and the confused storytelling, which cuts between multiple portions of the cave without creating any sustained tension in any of those locales.” Flickering Myth

“The movie becomes less interesting when Jen makes a discovery about Eric that leads to a relationship showdown with the croc looking on with embarrassment. Maybe it, too, is perplexed about how her mascara has stayed put. This is paddling-pool-level entertainment.” The Guardian

“Our killer croc really doesn’t feature much; Traucki instead relies on the tension created by trying to guess where and when it will appear. This is similar to how our creature was presented in the original film, yet in the wake of other creature features such as Crawl, which was jammed pack full of alligator attacks, Black Water: Abyss feels a little anaemic.” The Hollywood News

“The film knows how to build dread and never overplays its hand when it comes to its main star, the crocodile, and this restraint serves the film well. Those that like smart, intense, well-shot creature features and relish claustrophobic horror that makes excellent use of darkness and sound will enjoy this watery sequel.” Killer Horror Critic

Black Water: Abyss is as good as it needs to be and no more. It does everything we might expect of it and no cliché is left unvisited – just when it looks as if the nightmare is over there’s one further twist of the knife – but you’re quite likely to find it an embarrassingly enjoyable experience even as you roll your eyes at its predictability.” Starburst

Cast and characters:

Jessica McNamee … Jennifer
Luke Mitchell … Eric
Amali Golden … Yolanda
Anthony J. Sharpe … Cash
Benjamin Hoetjes … Viktor
Rumi Kikuchi … Miyuki
J Ma … Patron in Bar
Vicky Wanless … Woman in bar
Stu Kirk … Patron in Bar
Lynne Rose … Patron in Bar
Tyson Brannigan … Bar patron extra

Production companies:

Thrills & Spills
Cornerstone Pictures
ProdigyMovies

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