Self-confessed old-style thriller fan, Andrew Traucki has carved out a career telling stories of survival on screen since his debut feature, Black Water released in 2007.
He’s no stranger to the harsh environments that humanity must endure with his follow up features, The Reef, and Jungle, so it comes as no surprise that when offered the chance to revisit the subject that launched his directing pilgrimage.
Billed as a sequel to his croc attack movie, upon review Black Water: Abyss serves more of an anthological piece as none of its original stars nor its cranky chompster return to continue the storyline.
Instead we are introduced to a quintet of extreme sport enthusiasts (Jessica McNamee – The Meg, Luke Mitchell, Amali Golden, Benjamin Hoetjes, and Anthony J.Sharpe), who go in search of their latest thrill, some wilfully, others begrudgingly as they find an unexplored cave system, which just so happens to have a snappy predator lurking in the watery caves.
Traucki shows his experience behind the camera, pairing back the action to allow the suspense to rise to the surface and draw out the group’s plight which takes them through the bold, ignorant, panic-stricken, heartache.
On show are two couples on the verge of destruction as the film serves as a metaphor for the physical weathering of their relationships.
If they are to survive this ordeal, what will become of them at the end of it all.
Is there life worth salvaging or are they better off as croc fodder?
The cast showcase their acting chops grounding their situation in reality, moulded by a talented director.
Try not to judge the film from its opening 15 minutes or so with admittedly a bit of a shaky script.
It takes a while for the mechanisms to take a hold, but once it has its grip it takes you on a death roll towards its conclusion that leaves you asking just exactly how they will escape, if at all.
It may not be ground-breaking and doesn’t quite match its predecessor in raw appeal, but it’s an enjoyable flick that again uses real crocs in real situations to amp up the thrills.
- Saul Muerte