Andrew Traucki, director of the somewhat acclaimed creatures features "Black Water" and "The Reef", brings a sequel (only in name) to his first killer croc hooray. I remember watching "Black Water" way back when, and it worked on suspense, the limited location, the one woman's show, though still lacking some necessary sauce. This next part seems to be also relying a lot on suspense and fear of a force that's lurking unseen - the movie largely does so with lackluster energy, and a newcomer filler is a fair amount of melodrama, which didn't feel very welcome to me.
Like many similar movies, "Abyss" kicks off with a pair of unfortunate tourists falling prey to the croc of the caves, it will be in his home we're going to spend most of the screentime. A home too plain, too evenly lit, barely succeeding to feel claustrophobic, consequently struggling to establish an atmosphere. Our protagonists are 5 rather stereotypical movie friends with typical plot problems and arches - one has to be prepared for soapy notes throughout. Story's simple and slow, ending does not hit any nails on the head, and all in all there's a predictable story riddled with minor bugs. While all this may be so, a good portion of people are probably most excited about the action and croc himself. Well, he hides. A lot. There's some cgi and some practical effects, and I'm not entirely sure about the partial usage of real crocodiles as it's known about the first "Black Water" flick. "Abyss" is a low budget feature, and action describes that, not the worst, but mostly heavily edited with close-ups, shaky cam, all kinds of cheaper substitute techniques. It's a killer reptile movie that's above the syfy-type, but below the better examples like "Rogue" or "Crawl", though I'll admit the latter is not a lot about that realism. The cast consists of little known names who do a decent job, but little of anything manages to impress as the growingly tedious nature of "Black Water: Abyss" marches on for 90 minutes.
I felt a certain disappointment for an anticipated movie coming from a guy who's biggest love and mission seems to be animal/nature/creature horror genre. If you have a lot of patience and are looking for utter realism in this genre movies, it might be worth giving "Abyss" a spin. My rating: 4/10.
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