This low budget Australian creature feature is probably inspired by the true story of a saltwater crocodile attack in the Northern Territory. Written and directed by newcomers David Nerlich and Andrew Traucki, Black Water dramatises that horrifying incident, replacing the boys with a young and pregnant yuppie couple and a pretty younger sister.
Having made the ill-advised decision to hire a dodgy local to take them into a labyrinthine river system, the trio swiftly realise their error when an enormous croc overturns their boat and chomps its owner. The terrified day-trippers climb the nearest tree, realise they have no decent escape options, and quickly become hysterical.
A few tense moments follow, mainly involving the submerging of dainty legs in murky water, and early on there’s a fairly funny description of a croc by a reptile farm employee: ‘A dirty great big truck with teeth comin’ atcha’. Otherwise, Black Water fails to wring very much of its slim, real-life narrative. A daft action-packed climax merely underlines the resolutely non-cinematic nature of the source material. There may be something to be said for a cautionary tale about what, along with shark attacks, is apparently becoming a national issue down under, but like the true story Aussie slasher flick Wolf Creek there’s something unpleasantly exploitative about Black Water.
Selected release from Fri 15 Feb.