in Movies, Reviews

Black Water

31 Days of Horror, Day 3

Three young Australians go out into the swamp in search of some primo fishing and instead find themselves getting preyed upon by a giant crocodile. That’s the premise of Black Water, a film that robbed me of 90 minutes of my life. Just to give you an idea of the tedium to which I was subjected, the three protagonists spend the majority of the film’s running time hiding in a tree.

Take my life. I’m obviously not using it to the fullest of its potential.

In lieu of a proper review, allow me to regale you with 10 ways the film could have pivoted to distinguish itself from the hundreds of other (read: better) films in the creature horror subgenre:

  1. It is revealed halfway through the movie that there is no crocodile, and the tour guide who disappeared beneath the murky swamp waters is really a merperson who feeds on human flesh.
  2. More plausibly, we learn that their tour guide didn’t die, but is in fact the owner of a crocodile farm. He lures unsuspecting tourists into the swamp to fatten up his cattle – because fat crocs are good eating.
  3. Our plucky heroes are, in reality, serial litterbugs, and the tree in which they’re hiding contains the spirit of Gaia, the Earth Mother, who has trapped them in the swamp as punishment. The crocodile is her enforcer.
  4. This is no fishing trip. After a series of increasingly bizarre visual sequences, the viewer discovers that all three main characters came out to the swamp to trip on mushrooms, and the crocodile was just a vision that really harshed their mellow.
  5. The entire movie is nihilist parable, with the crocodile’s gaping maw representing the empty, meaningless void that is human existence.
  6. The three protagonists are actually actors filming a movie within the movie, critiquing how by-the-numbers most creature horror movies are. Joss Whedon makes a cameo.
  7. After chomping down on both men, the crocodile attempts to kill the two female characters, only to discover that they are impervious to physical damage. Something something strong female characters.
  8. As the crocodile barrels down on the Final Girl, the frame freezes and we pan out to see the director, head in hands, regretting his decision to sign on for this project.
  9. After watching the ferocity with which the crocodile chows down on a raw chicken at the film’s outset, our three protagonists decide to forego the fishing trip and just chill at a pub. The rest of the movie is just 85 minutes of inane banter.
  10. As the camera tracks our protagonists motoring down the river, they pass a mime pretending to cry into a bowl of cereal lubricated with his own tears. The camera stops following the boat and instead focuses on the mime. For the next 80 minutes, the camera slowly zooms in on the mime, until nothing is left in the frame except the bowl of cereal. Roll credits.