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Simple but effective
Shudder129 August 2007
While many people found this film simply too slow and simplistic I really connected with it. There is no plot as such, rather the film takes the form of a human survival story about three people trapped up a tree with a man eating crocodile lurking somewhere in the water beneath them.

Personally, I thought the acting was mostly very good, despite the roles being quite demanding at times, and I felt a sense of warmth for the characters. The situation they were in was quite terrifying and I really felt nervous for them. I found the whole film quite nerve wracking because of the sheer helplessness of their situation and the constant threat to their survival.

The crocodile effects were handled surprisingly well for such a low budget film, and believe me, I have seen my fair share of dodgy croc movies. The creature moved well and had real menace and, although the audience I was with didn't seem too keen on the film as a whole, they still jumped and gasped whenever the crocodile appeared.

Script-wise, I would have made a few changes, particularly towards the end, but this was not a major problem. For fans of slow-burning survival horror set within the realms of reality this will be an engaging film but unfortunately I think for many audiences seeking a thrill ride and higher production values from their cinema experience the point will simply be missed.
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Involves the audience like no other film....
merklekranz25 May 2008
This low budget crocodile movie really delivers the goods. The fact that it was inspired by true events would mean little if you wound up with a fake looking crocodile, bad C.G.I., or an obvious studio setting. Fortunately none of the above are involved with this terrific, very realistic film. The crocodile is real, there is no C.G.I., and the on location filming takes place in an actual Australian swamp. The actors were obviously inspired to create as much realism as possible in their performances, and they succeed. You can place yourself in their predicament, which is testament to how realistically "Black Water" translates as entertainment. Highly recommended. - MERK
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Nail-Biting Tension and Totally Believable
mbworm3 April 2008
"Black Water" is one of the most tense films I have viewed in a long time. The story moves fast as it follows three tourists (all great actors) into a swamp on a tour with a butch tour guide on a small boat. Soon after dropping anchor in a remote area of the swamp, they are flipped over by something huge in the water.

Hastily, the three manage to make it into a tall tree nearby as they realize that a crocodile has attacked them. Throughout the next two days, they have to desperately try to escape from the crocodile's evil watchful eye, and he doesn't seem to want to go away. The movie drags just a tad bit, but what can you expect from the setting and the limited budget? It's so much better than "Primeval" and other recent crocodile/ underwater predator thrillers. The tension is heavy, and all three leads give terrific performances. Truly chilling, this movie struck a deep chord of claustrophobic fear in me. Apparently based on true events.
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Gritty and moving story marred by character flaws
gluonpaul1 November 2018
So the positives for this are quite numerous, its a very realistically shot and gritty story which is scare not least of which because it could really happen. The feeling throughout the movie is pretty visceral and really puts you in the position of understanding the fear this situation would evoke.

The problem is with the character writing. The characters are pretty inconsistent, its like the script writer kept forgetting which characters were supposed to be reacting to this stress by getting panicked etc and kept jumping between one character reacting by thinking things through to suddenly being the one being negative about all the options and another character being the thoughtful one. At the start of the movie one of the women is constantly panicking (understandable) and the other is a forceful character and then half way through its like they switch personalities. This is pretty jarring every time it happens which spoils an otherwise very good movie. Still a pretty decent film though.
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Tense, Realistic and Dramatic
claudio_carvalho24 April 2008
While on vacation on Northern Australia, Gracie (Diana Glenn), her husband Adam (Andy Rodoreda) and her younger sister Lee (Maeve Dermody) decide to take the Blackwater Barry tour in the swamp for fishing. Their guide Jim (Ben Oxenbould) 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.

"Black Water" is a tense, realistic and dramatic low-budget movie and in accordance with the warning in the beginning, based on a true event. The acting of the unknown Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody and Andy Rodoreda is top-notch, giving credibility to this simple but scary story. There are many similarities between this movie and "Prey", but in different environments. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Medo Profundo" ("Deep Fear")
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A genuinely suspenseful film
LoneWolfAndCub6 March 2009
Black Water, co-directed and written by David Nerlich and Andrew Traucki, is very simple in its execution yet effective. The film is a low-budget Australian movie that will unfortunately not get the recognition it deserves because as far as creature features go, this is one of the best out there. The setup is rather basic; Grace, her husband Adam and her younger sister Lee are touring some mangroves in the Northern Territory when a saltwater crocodile flips their boat and leaves them stranded in the trees. The whole movie is about their survival while the crocodile is lurking below waiting to strike.Unlike Greg McLean's Rogue (another killer croc movie released earlier in 2007), Black Water is not about the audience having fun guessing who's gonna be eaten next, it is about hoping and praying that the three people will get out safely.

The three unknown actors do a great job with pretty demanding roles, considering it was filmed on location with a real crocodile instead of CGI. The characters act realistically in the situation and the dialogue seems natural and not forced. Suspense is built up throughout the entire film, we do not see a lot of the creature but just knowing it is near is terrifying enough. This is edge-of-your seat stuff and highly recommended if you enjoy original and (most importantly) scary horror films.

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Best croc film so far
atticus_noiro20 October 2007
BLACK WATER is a thriller that manages to completely transcend it's limitations (it's an indie flick) by continually subverting expectations to emerge as an intense experience.

In the tradition of all good animal centered thrillers ie Jaws, The Edge, the original Cat People, the directors know that restraint and what isn't shown are the best ways to pack a punch. The performances are real and gripping, the crocdodile is extremely well done, indeed if the Black Water website is to be believed that's because they used real crocs and the swamp location is fabulous.

If you are after a B-grade gore fest croc romp forget Black Water but if you want a clever, suspenseful ride that will have you fearing the water and wondering what the hell would I do if i was up that tree then it's a must see.
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Keeping your distance.
lost-in-limbo17 February 2008
As a kid I loved the song "Never smile at a crocodile", and if I found myself in this state of affairs, which is actually inspired by true events. Smiling would be the last thing on my mind. From the opening set-up, I've never been so entrenched, caught up and finally exhausted like I was when watching this limited budget Independent Australian horror film, about three people in Northern Territory trapped in a mangrove swamp with a very conniving crocodile waiting in the water below them. What really brought the film alive, was how realistic it managed to be in transporting the fear and uncertainty of the characters' situation to the audience. Semi-documentary camera-work with a disquietingly eerie backdrop and authentic performances effectively take you out of your comfort zone. What we get is a patient survival tale than just a bloody, all-out creature feature onslaught. Think of "Open Water (2003)", where its budget and time restraint made sure it would stay low-key, but this minimal barrier enhanced the experience.

The slow-grinding story might be black and white, but it never seemed to become disposable, or succumb to formulaic patterns. Well not largely, and the connection between the characters were emotionally engaging even with a bare, straight-forward script. Although you can say "less is more", with the actions and expressions illuminating the lingering thoughts plaguing their minds. The ordeal is utterly terrifying, because the threat is very alive and never seems to loosen up. This is what drives the film's chaotic adrenaline, and in which it lasts (even when its kept buried) through to the very end.

Writers / Directors Andrew Traucki and David Nerlich's economical guidance alienates and smartly strings along the viewer with its taut pacing and harrowing psychological traits. In certain patches the notch goes up, with pressure induced suspense and startling images. The way the night sequence is executed is immensely chilling and pulsating. The menacing crocodile manipulative toys with its fresh-meat in a distressingly suspenseful approach. Sure some moments felt unlikely, but never does it get in the way or distract. Sound FX is the key, and at times the lack of any just eats away at you. Rafeal May's musical score is unassuming and doesn't really enter the mixture much, but when it does it builds an organic sounding quality. The cinematography of John Biggins is beautifully devised, and rapidly aggressive when the mood changes. It was always on the move and claustrophobic, but none of this jerky movements. The editing was sharply handled, and the effects were professionally catered by superbly combing live crocodile footage.

Something like this production would also have to rely on its cast to sell to the story in a believable manner and they do it. Diana Glenn, Andy Rodoreda and especially Maeve Dermody are persuasively good. A lot of the responsibility falls on Dermody, and she strongly delivers with an inspired turn. Now this item might cop some comparisons with another killer crocodile film "Rogue (2007)", but the two couldn't be any different in what they want to be and how they end up. If I had to pick though, I'm leaning more towards this outing for its sheer involvement to snap at you.

A remarkable effort on all fronts, with everyone involved showing potential to really look out for.
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An astonishingly wonderful movie
Dragoneyed36329 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was on the shelf at the movie store I used to rent all my movies from, and since I had seen a handful of very corny horror flicks there I had really low expectations for this one. Well, I put it in, and almost immediately I was sucked right in.

While watching, I got deeper and deeper into the story and pretty soon I was staring in complete interest. This movie is surprisingly spectacular and I loved every second. The story is about a boat ride down a river in Australia. It seems safe enough until their boat is ambushed by a croc who's ready for some food. When I looked at the back of the case I thought that this movie was going to have crappy visual effects like in Lake Placid 2 and a lot of others, but when I first saw the crocodile it looked amazingly real! Don't laugh when I say this, for I am being serious, but this is one of the most creepiest films I've ever seen. It really knew how to build up nail-biting tension and suspense with it's intense situation, I mean, think about it; You're stuck, in a tree, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide with a hungry predator in the depths of the water below. You can not tell me that doesn't freak you out just a little. It even managed to give me a few chills down my arms, like when Adam was taken by the croc and Grace and Lee are left baffled. I jumped at two scenes, also.

This is a very appealing movie, to me. There were maybe one or two parts where I found myself slightly uninterested but other than that, I would say this is my favorite animal attack film that I have seen and is an excellent film overall. It was a job well done by all the staff and I commend it for being so suspenseful and impression making.
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maybe im just tired, maybe its just boring
marklinnig30 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There was some good build up of suspense throughout. The cinematography was surprisingly good considering such minimal budget. We witness occasional spells of good acting, however, this is quickly deflated by some quite cheesy lines. Understandably there would not be much of an intellectual conversation to be had, sitting up on trees while a crocodile is stalking you. Silence would have been golden here. There could have been a bigger play on suspense than dimly uttering, "I sat in the cupboard for fear of my brother..." Something tells me there's a slight difference in getting a beating from your brother than being eaten by a mighty 15ft croc. You decide. Throughout the film I can't seem to find a connection or for that matter, sympathy with the characters, perhaps thats because they don't develop one throughout the film, character that is. There are some occasional good scares when the crocodile sneaks up on the characters, overshadowed again by some questionable scenes. In one instance we should be terrified by an ear floating in the water but later we sit beside a decapitated, limbless corpse and only worry about a broken finger. A definite roller coaster of a film when it comes to logic.
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Black Water will get you nervous...
ryanbramhart319 December 2007
Gore hounds beware...this is not your movie. This little nail bitter has very little blood and guts. Its basically a version of Open Water that is effective and worthwhile. But what sets it apart is that we actually like the three leads (unlike Open Water) who find themselves up a tree when a crocodile flips their fishing boat and munches up their guide. We don't want any harm to come to any of them. SO when they start getting into dangerous situations...we actually care.

Now I like killer animal flicks but I haven't been too impressed with Lake Placid up to Primeval (although I'm still waiting to see Rogue and hoping it is somewhere as good as this one!) but this little bugger did the job and did the job well. It's scares are creative and it only lapses into the run of the mill frantic crying sobbing and arguing for brief stints of realism so I never got annoyed.

I remember reading the true story that inspired this where three guys went fishing and two ended up in a tree while their buddy was killed by the crocodile . But the thing that always impacted me that gets left out from the film was that the crocodile didn't eat up the buddy. No. For hours and hours he swam around the tree and shook the dead body still in his mouth at the friends in the tree. Seeming to stay, if you come down here this is what will happen to you.
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Found myself cheering for the Croc...
JoeB13124 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Yes, the movie was that boring and insipid. after a certain point, I was wanting the croc to eat these people just so we could get the movie over with.

The plot is that three Aussies take a fishing tour up a river in a little boat, where the fishing guide straps on a gun. He says he just does it for insurance purposes, all the crocs have been hunted out of this river. He is immediately eaten by a Croc. The trio then get chased up a tree, getting picked off by the reptile in their attempts to escape. They spend most of the movie arguing over the best way to escape.

Predictably, the one survivor finds the tour guide's gun and shoots the crocodile. Aww, they killed the movie's only likable character!

Where's Paul Hogan or Steve Irwin when you really need them?
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No spectacular slaughters but effective survival suspense
Quebec_Dragon7 November 2010
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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tense ultra-realism
benmcfee23 March 2008
I've read many unflattering comments regarding this film, and the only things I have seen that they all have in common are: "boring" and "unrealistic".

First of all, they used real bloody crocodiles! How much more real can you get? No CGI, no animatronics, no miniatures. Just a croc and a piece of meat.

There is, however, no question that this film gets off to a slow start. Character development, what little they had, plodded at best, and I think this is primarily where this film is lacking.

However, when the film gets going, the action picks up dramatically. I don't mean to say that this is action packed. If you're looking for a Michael Bay gorefest, you'll be sadly disappointed. If anything, there are more moments where the croc can't be seen at all, and the people are just waiting. We know, though, that there won't be any relief. The croc is just biding its time. This had a similar eerie feel to other films that set to achieve terror through inaction. Open Water, another film that has been criticized by some viewers as being "boring," certainly comes to mind. Personally, I think that viewers who find themselves incapable of feeling the suspense have had their attention spans surgically removed at birth, but that's just me.

Finally the characters, though rather undeveloped, feel real and the situation is such that it really could happen to anyone in the right circumstances. Furthermore, the deaths are completely real, and at times, it's a little tough to watch.

All in all, this one's a winner.
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A great example of why realism isn't always a good thing.
jaap-zeldenrust8 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Black Water" is a film that prides itself on its realism, and realistic it certainly is. Just like reality, this film consists mostly of waiting, of desperately trying the same stupid plan again because it's the only plan you have, and awkward dialogue.

The story is about three young people getting menaced by a salt water crocodile in the Northern coastal region of Australia. The first twenty minutes is spent setting up the events. Pretty straight forward for a first act, except all the dialogue is the characters pointing out plot points to each other and the audience. It's painfully unnatural.

When our protagonists finally find themselves in the company of a rather vicious croc, they spent most of the remainder of the film up a tree. Their strategies for survival are reasonable throughout the film, but there's really only two options: stay put and hope they're found, or try to get to safety by their own means. This is established in the first few minutes of the second act, and then nothing happens. They consider both options, rule out any alternatives, and then can't decide which option to take. They don't make decisions, the environment makes decisions for them.

In the end, some people die and some live, and I was once again reminded of the value of fiction: sometimes reality is just so boring.
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Michael_Elliott24 May 2008
Black Water (2007)

**** (out of 4)

Australian horror film about two sisters (Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody) and one of their boyfriends (Andy Rodoreda) who decide to take a guided tour down a river where they can fish and see crocodiles. Once out in the water and far away from land, their boat comes under attack by a large croc and soon the guide is dead and the three friends are stuck in a tree without much hope for survival. This film was clearly influenced by Open Water even though this film too is based on true events. I enjoyed Open Water but thought it had several problems, which could have been fixed and the problems I had with that film aren't in this one and I must say I think this film is the best horror movie I've seen in many, many years. off the top of my head I can't think of another movie that had my blood ice cold throughout it. There are at least five long scenes in this film where my blood was cold, the hair was standing up on my neck and I was curled up on the couch in actually terror. I've never had a movie effect me this much as I've seen so many that very few are able to get to me but this one actually did and boy was it a great feeling. I must say this film is a real joy as this genre has forgotten about scares and now basically goes for mindless gore. That's not the case here because each minute of this movie is meant to make you feel worried and put you in suspense. The execution is top-notch and the direction is downright flawless and never hits a bad note. The film runs just over 90-minute and there isn't much time given to the viewer to let them breathe because the film builds suspense every minute from start to finish. The film has a simple but very effective music score and the cinematography is great as well. Another big plus are the performances, which are excellent by the three leads. We don't get to spend too much time with them before the attack starts but it doesn't take long to really fall in love with all three characters and you can't help but want to see them make it out alive. Caring for them so much is another reason the suspense works because we don't want to see anything bad happen to them. Dermody really sticks out and I hope to see her in future movies. I really went into this film not knowing what to expect but it turned out to be one of the most memorable films I've seen in recent memory.
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Waste of time
EddyCurrant22 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Although this movie is not bad cinematically speaking and has its merits it turned out to be a waste of time (at least for me). But fear not, it is not in any way comparable to films in the vein of "Anaconda" or such. Black Water is conceived and thought out quite differently. The appearances of the crocodile out of the water are succinct and played out sparsely so there is some ongoing suspense and tension throughout the movie. However from the start you can see events coming so there are no many surprises and the whole movie could be summed up -with some "licenses"- by the children's song sang premonitory by the first victim: "Three cheeky monkeys swinging the trees, Teasing Mr. Crocodile, 'You can't catch me'. When along came the crocodile, as quiet as can be and Snap! went the crocodile and ate one for his tea.

Two cheeky moneys..." and on and on.
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Asks the question
willywilly29 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie sets out to do something very particular, it also sets out not to do certain things. In short it has a definite premeditated trajectory - to deal with the idea of facing death (with very few choices and all of them bad) as grave and real rather than something casual or amusing. In search of that realism it has eschewed certain conventions such as obvious character arcs and hooks. It not about the characters so much as about the human condition. Never mind what the actors would do... what would YOU do in their situation?

Open Water may have been a starting notion for this movie but it goes a lot further. Unlike that film it doesn't cheat the audience in the end when you find out there aren't really any sharks to speak of at all. This has a real monster, not just the idea of a monster and not just an animated stand in. It also has fine production values given what these very resourceful filmmakers had to work with. And again in contrast to that other film it has some exhilarating and brilliantly rendered action at it's climax. And let's not forget the, shall we say 'dazzling', screen presence of its youngest star. She may prove to be quite a discovery.
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Wow. Who are the Haters on IMDb?
matt-taylor-25 November 2007
Firstly I think Black Water is a great film, suspenseful, tense and well directed. I was thoroughly surprised by how much i jumped around. I was lucky enough to see it a preview screening and hope it gets picked up for release.

Secondly I agree with willywilly, who are these one star critics who are being so harsh on a film which hasn't been released yet? They must have some sort of film connections to get a copy in their nasty little hands and perhaps they are associated with some other crocodile film?

I would urge IMDb readers not to be misled by such hateful campaigning and think it's a shame that IMDb gets used this way. I hope Wolf Creek didn't suffer similar treatment when it was first released.
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straight out of croc country
crocgirl7117 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I live up here in croc territory and remember well the true events that inspired this movie. Our guts fall out each time we hear of a croc attack. BLACK WATER is, quite simply, the best croc movie I have ever seen. While I loved ROGUE last year for all its effects and splashy scenes, it was the local scenes that captured our audience. We laughed in ROGUE more than anything. BLACK WATER, however, really resonated with the eeriness and fear that you can experience when you are alone in the mangroves (you guys call them swamps or bayous - but they're mangroves). Every tourist should see this film before heading to the Northern Territory. The ending was a bit of a letdown after the rest of the film, but I'll be adding this one to my DVD collection when it becomes available.
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At 6/10, this movie is highly overrated!
eartherian25 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this movie after looking at the positive reviewers' comments on the negative reviews as sometimes good movies are underrated.

But this is a real piece of crap! What you call it in the description, 'a tale of survival', LMAO! 3 out of 4 people are dead and the one who survived was taken into the jaws of the Croc sideways couple of times! How can you call it a take of survival? This was just a piece of crap ever written!

When there is nowhere to go, and the croc is waiting in the waters to kill everybody, what can happen next? This can happen: you go in the water, the croc will catch you sideways, take you to the side of the river and put you with another guy whom he killed first and who has a gun in his belt so that you can use that gun and kill it!

Such a negative, illogical, stupid movie! At 6.0, this is way too overrated and should come down to 3 at least!
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Believable Survival Horror
jansell-8553714 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Very good film. Love the use of practical effects. No dodgy CGI critters here. A lot like Jaws in that you don't see much of the croc. The use of music and great acting keep you on the edge of your seat. There was just one thing that killed me about this, and it's the characters' inability to think logically. I guess when folks are in circumstances such as those portrayed in the movie they do seem to act in ways we look at and think, "that makes no sense." But in this case, Adam, one of our stranded characters, is itching to get back in the water with a large crocodile to flip their capsized boat back over after only a few hours in a tree. The two female characters beg him not to, wanting to wait for help, which Adam continuously says will never come stating, "no-one saw us leave, they don't know we're out here." I couldn't understand his thinking. They left from a small river outfitter. They may not have seen them leave but A. One of their boats and crew are missing. After a day you'd think they would notice. and B. Their car is parked in front of the outfitter's. They definitely know something is up within a day or so. Seems to me it'd make the most sense to hold tight. It drove me nuts that this guy was so adamant about killing himself haha
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Simple and tense
neil-47617 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
5 people go boating in an Australian swamp. A man-eating crocodile spoils their day. Will they all survive? Will any of them survive?

A simple but effective narrative, a small cast of unknown but moderately talented actors, a tin boat, a real swamp, a real crocodile,, a continuity person who is on the ball, and a lot of water-level camera angles combine to make a decent thriller.

I'm being glib. This Australian film is low budget, and shows that you don't have to throw vast sums of money at the screen to make a decent film. This is simple, tense, exciting, and has characters you care about.

Not bad at all.
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Wasn't Scary...Reapetive and Predictable
alinayanta27 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
One of those movies where you take bets on who will die first and who will survive at the end. There was just something about the movie that made me zone out. I think because I keep looking back and thinking "yep still in that tree...still looking at the water". Poor character development. I felt nothing when they were in danger. I was voting for the croc. I found it hard to believe a croc would try to tip a boat in the first place and then when it jumps into the boat I find that really unlikely as well. The croc seems too supernatural at times ('all knowing all seeing'). Also when the croc attacks it's behavior seems very unrealistic. It's a killing machine and wouldn't be letting victims escape twice to three times in a row, especially when attacking in the water.
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So Much Better Than Rogue
hoykatie29 November 2008
So well made, no CGI crap. Has anyone else been on the "Jumping Crocs" tour of Darwin's Adelaide River before? Black Water was WAY realistic; Rogue was a bit cringeworthy.

Thought the blonde chick was excellent in it - haven't really seen her before. And the other chick is a babe, she is always excellent.

V. suspenseful - I would compare it to Jaws over any other man eating animal flick.

Got the hole Aussie thing down pat without going OTT with struths and crikeys, as well.

Loved it!
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