Running Time: 88 mins
Rated: Rated MA 15+ (strong violence)
Black Water, like Greg McLean's Rogue, which was made at the same time, is about crocodile menace. Whereas Rogue used the conventions of the terror film and of menace, a tourist group with some whining complainers and some heroic leadership, Black Water confines itself to a family group of three with a guide. This means that most audiences could very readily identify with characters, the dangers, the sense of hopelessness - and no foreseeable rescue. This could happen if you were in such circumstances, an easy excursion for fishing in allegedly safe waters, the crocodile attack, deaths, being stranded on the mangrove branches with no one knowing you went out - plus heat, mosquitoes, thirst and the horror and look of the crocodile, its teeth and its maw.
This gives the film a blend of documentary style and home movie tone that makes it more real than the disaster genre realism. The small cast does all that is required of them in terms of fear and resignation to fate. This does make watching it not only uncomfortable but creates a definite sense of unease and fear.
All InteractiveOpens 24th April
Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.