4th July 2020 (UK Theatrical)
Five friends exploring a remote cave system in Northern Australia find themselves threatened by a hungry crocodile.
Jessica McNamee, Luke Mitchell, Amali Golden
In the dismal crock of swamp air Black Water: Abyss, five friends find themselves trapped with a killer crocodile while exploring a deep caving system in Australia.
I’ve already lost 90 minutes (which felt like thrice the actual length) of my time watching this and don’t want to waste much more writing about it. You’ve probably gathered from the three lines I’ve done so far that I thoroughly disliked Black Water: Abyss. It’s completely devoid of tension and the shallow-end level of peril occurs to an assiduously unlikable fivesome. A baffling late third act reveal managed to make my disdain for a few of them grow even more, so it at least accomplished something.
The below ground location can be made interesting – and has been; see The Descent, The Cave, British horror Creep, The Hole, Mimic… I could go on but I’ve already disappointed myself thinking of films I should’ve watched instead of this – and the double whammy of being stuck there with a ravenous Croc sounds like it could be a throwaway good time on paper. But writers Ian John Ridley and Sarah Smith have made an unsatisfying meal of its promising premise. Instead, we’re served an hour and a half of yelling names into darkness and surface level scanning of water very infrequently punctured by incomprehensibly rapid cuts of our stricken explorers flailing about like enthusiastic members of a free form dance class.
Just when I think it couldn’t make my eyes roll more than the films sharp toothed reptile in its signature kill method, Black Water: Abyss careens out of the caverns and into daylight in a finale that proves those responsible have zero respect for your intelligence. It’s not even as if it can be classed as a ‘leave your brain at the door’ picture. My recommendation is to not even entertain the idea of entering in the first place.
Time grinds to a halt while watching nothing happen
When it does, you can hardly see WHAT is going on
Too much airhead conversations, not enough eating of awful characters
Intelligence insulting finale even for those with zero expectations