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Susan May Pratt,
Richard Speight Jr.,
For 12 days in July, 1916, a shark patrolled the waterways of northern New Jersey. This docudrama is based on Richard Fernicola's account of those days. Other accounts of those 12 days led Peter Benchley to write _Jaws_.
While on vacation on Northern Australia, Gracie, her husband Adam and her younger sister Lee decide to take the Blackwater Barry tour in the swamp for fishing. Their guide Jim uses a small motor boat and takes the tourist along the river to a remote spot. When they stop, they are attacked by a huge crocodile that capsizes their boat and immediately kills Jim. The three survivors climb a tree and when they realize that help would never come to rescue them, they decide to try to find a way out of their sheltered location. However, in the muddy water, their boat is flipped and the crocodile stalks the trio under the water. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
No spectacular slaughters but effective survival suspense
Black Water is not your typical creature slaughter fest where it's one victim after the other with plenty of blood and gore. It's a rather intimate psychological suspense with practically no gore and little blood. It's set in some mangrove swamps in Australia. A few tourists are stranded far from civilization and no hope of rescue on trees surrounded by water with an immersed crocodile lurking unseen . It's a movie from the school of the least you see of the monster, the scarier it is. I was first taken aback by the long period of waiting without much happening. Heck, I even found it a little boring and was afraid it was one of those no-budget films always teasing the monster but never really showing it, or when they did, it was lame.
On hindsight, I think that the creators clearly tried to slowly make you paranoid about where the crocodile was exactly and in that they were rather successful. There was a nice build-up of tension and the characters looked genuinely frightened. The movie did have a real life aspect to it and the unknown actors (at least in North America) really helped. The crocodile was well done and although sometimes I thought it was a prop (when only the head was showing), it was apparently a real croc composited in. Not CGI, not animatronics and yes the characters eventually seem to be in the same frame and not always filmed separately. My most memorable moment involved the crocodile jumping out of the water higher than you would expect... I also liked the night with the flashes of lightning, going from dark to anguished faces constantly. I didn't like seeing the mostly calm water so much but I understand the reasoning behind it. I didn't expect this kind of realistic claustrophobic siege by one crocodile when I rented it but it turned out reasonably entertaining. Like the stranded characters though, it's better to be patient...
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (good)
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