Movie review / ‘Black Water: Abyss’ (MA) **

Share Canberra's trusted news:

“Black Water: Abyss” (MA) **

IN 2007, Andrew Traucki and David Nerlich co-wrote and co-directed “Black Water”, in which a crocodile stalks a group of young adults from down south on a fishing trip on a North Queensland river. 

It had slight successes in the awards game. It never came here.

In 2020, Andrew Traucki directed “Black Water: Abyss”, from a screenplay by John Ridley and Sarah Smith. It’s about a crocodile that stalks four young adults from down south who travel to North Queensland for a bushwalk. 

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s epigram in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”) – “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (the more things change, the more they stay the same) – comes to mind. 

“Black Water: Abyss” begins with two young Japanese bushwalkers in North Queensland arguing about which direction is the right direction. They separate. She panics. She follows him. Bye bye.

A couple of days later, the four youngsters join up with a local and head north in a rented 4WD. The local bloke reckons he knows about an underground cave system. 

Before long, the quintet is exploring an underground river that comes out into a large cavern. What happens next is not hard to guess.

And it doesn’t take long for members of the group, one by one, to fall victim to a crocodile. At this point, while I was expecting to see something of that sort, my natural history knowledge kicked in to remind me about crocodiles. 

It’s more than the opening lines of a once popular song:

Never smile at a crocodile

Never tip your hat and stop to talk a while.

Don’t be taken in by his friendly grin.

He’s imagining how well you’ll fit within his skin. 

In North Queensland and PNG, I’ve seen quite a few real crocodiles, in the wild, at a farm. They’re best when served in a curry.

Traucki’s film doesn’t need great acting and doesn’t get it. Advance publicity has coupled the word “horror” with it. Horror has numerous derivative words, none of which can be truthfully applied to it. Its best ingredient is the aerial shots of North Queensland and its rainforests.

At Dendy

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

“Black Water: Abyss” (MA) **
Previous articleGentleman uses call in powers to approve contentious project
Next articleThe economic zombie that has to be killed
Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

Leave a Reply