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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Horror > Australia > Black Water (2006/Sony DVD)

Black Water (2006/Sony DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Feature: C+



If I got a dollar for every time I saw a DVD arrive that was Horror genre and said it was based on a true story, I could pay for a noticeable chunk of either the U.S. National Deficit or the Iraq debacle.  In these cases, I am amazed at how bad the final product is, as if a bunch of idiots thought they were doing something original when they are boring and tired.  So it was to my pleasant surprise that the Andrew Traucki/David Nerlich film Black Water (2006) succeeded where literally thousands of projects have failed.


Instead of the usually tired, color-gutted, shaky camera work boredom people are still tolerating with gimmicky like Cloverfield, this turns out to be a very intelligent, even ambitious low-budget project about three people (including a couple) who go for a trip and land up getting menaced by a killer crocodile.  We even recently saw a very, very, very bad film called Croc that did everything wrong that this project got right.  Maybe it is because it is from the less-pretentious Australian film industry, but definitely it is from intelligent storytellers who are mature adults, treating the audience with respect for a change.


Of course, we have seen much of this before and there was nothing new here, yet just doing this in a serious, realistic way, makes up for the many conventions this story cannot avoid.  As a result, it is the first time in a while in this genre you actually believe what you see pretty much happened in real life and that it is not just another oaf thinking there is gold in the millionth retread of Texas Chain Saw Massacre.  If you must see this kind of film, you will not be able to do better than Black Water and sadly, for a long time to come.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image apparently originated in digital HD and looks better than many such productions, yet it is still softer and color limited than it would be were it filmed.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 is better with a decent, if not perfect soundfield and decently recorded dialogue.  The combination is just fine for this low def format.  Extras include a making of featurette, Traucki/Nerlich feature-length commentary and deleted scenes, all of interest.  Like the main attraction, it is worth a good look.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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