Black Water (film)
Theaterical film poster
|Directed by||David Nerlich
|Produced by||David Nerlich
|Written by||David Nerlich
|Music by||Rafael May|
|Editing by||Rodrigo Balart|
|Distributed by||AV Pictures|
|Running time||88 minutes|
Black Water is a 2007 horror-thriller film set in the mangrove seas of northern Australia. It was written and directed by Andrew Traucki and David Nerlich and stars Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody and Andy Rodoreda. The film was inspired by the true story of a crocodile attack in Australia's Northern Territory in December 2003.
Grace (Diana Glenn), her younger sister Lee (Maeve Dermody), and husband Adam (Andy Rodoreda) are going on the Blackwater Barry tour out into the Mangrove swamps for fishing. After leaving Grace's mother's home, Lee convinces the three to go to a crocodile exhibit. They learn that male crocodiles can grow to massive sizes and are extremely dangerous. Later that day the trio go to a bar where Lee suspects that Grace is pregnant when she refuses having a drink.
The next day, Grace confirms Lee's suspicion, while Adam remains unaware. Once they arrive at the docks, their tour guide Jim (Ben Oxenbould) arms himself with a six shot revolver and the group sets off. After attempting to fish on the usual route, the boat is hit. Jim removes an old paint can from the river, stating it to be the cause. He then suggests that they steer off course, deeper into the swamps, where he believes fish, larger than usual, may be. Once they veer out of the usual course, Grace begins to panic, however the others are unaware.
They arrive at a small clearing, far from the course they should have taken. Adam immediately snags a fish. Jim shouts words of advice while Lee, camera in hand, spots something in the distance. She alerts Grace, however after a second glance, sees nothing. Suddenly, the group is thrown about the boat when it is hit. After a second, more powerful hit, the boat capsizes, dumping Grace, Adam, Lee and Jim into the water. Adam realizes a crocodile has attacked them and helps Grace into a nearby tree. He then searches the water for Lee, who is tangled up in ropes under the boat. Grace sees an enormous crocodile nearby and convinces Adam to climb into the tree. Lee frees herself and swims out from under the boat. The crocodile swims after her as she struggles to climb atop the boat. She manages to get atop however the crocodile bashes the boat around, trying to throw her off. Adam and Grace distract the crocodile, which, defeated, swims away.
Grace and Adam plan a way to get Lee into the tree, and they realize they can use the rope to pull the boat across. Lee throws the rope to Adam, who, with Grace's help, attempts to pull the boat to the tree. Adam believes the rope to be caught on a stump when their efforts have no effect. Adam tells Lee she will have to swim across. Hesitant at first, she eventually slides off the boat into the water. She begins to walk across to them when something splashes in the distance. Panicking, she runs to Adam and Grace who pull her into the tree. Grace and Lee suggest that they sit and wait for someone to come looking for them however Adam states that no one saw them leave. Grace then suggests they climb across the trees to the mainland. She tells them she'll check it out first and come back. After seeing that they would have to swim across the river, she finds Jim's ear floating in the water. She panics and frantically runs back to Adam and Lee, although she doesn't disclose the fact that she had seen Jim's ear in the water..
After much waiting, Adam impatiently insists he goes for the boat. Lee and Grace agree. Adam climbs into the water and swims to the boat. He dives under the boat. The boat begins shaking back and forth violently until it overturns. Adam reappears onto the side of the boat. Suddenly, the crocodile pulls Adam under the water and thrashes him about. Lee and Grace mourn over Adam's body when the crocodile surfaces with it clenched in its teeth.
Watching all this Grace and Lee can't believe their fate and they highly lament over Adam's death.
Grace tells Lee that they must finish Adam's plan to use the boat. Lee keeps watch for the crocodile while Grace attempts to get to the boat. Grace grabs the boat rope. Lee spots the crocodile and alerts Grace who panics and drops the rope climbing back up the tree. Grace attempts to reach the boat rope however the crocodile jumps out of the water and narrowly misses Grace when she climbs across a branch over the water. Terrified of the crocodile, the duo sit and wait. They see Adam's body floating nearby. Later that night, the crocodile returns and begins eating Adam's body.
The next day the two see the boat is drifting away. Grace refuses to go to the boat. Lee suggests they use the trees as a guide through the water. They make it halfway across the clearing to the other side when the crocodile surfaces in front of them. Grace and Lee flee back to the tree however the crocodile grabs Grace's leg and pulls her underwater. The crocodile thrashes about, trying to drown her. Grace escapes and reaches the tree however her leg has been heavily wounded.
Lee attempts to reach the boat while Grace's condition worsens. She reaches the boat and climbs inside. She attempts to turn on the motor when the crocodile jumps into the boat and attacks her. It catches her torso in its mouth and pulls her underwater. She falls unconscious.
Some time later, Lee awakens on a small island beside Jim's body. She bandages her broken finger with the fabric from her shirt and sees that her torso is bleeding profusely. She takes Jim's gun and washes it off. She manages to fire it into the water. She takes the remains of one of Jim's arms and uses it to try to lure the crocodile to her. When this fails, she stands up and looks around, unaware that the crocodile has surfaced behind her. She turns around as it attacks her. She tries to shoot the crocodile but the gun misfires. A chase ensues as she tries to run from the crocodile. After running, the crocodile in close pursuit, Lee turns around to see it has vanished. She looks around everywhere, gun in hand, waiting to shoot it. The crocodile surfaces in front of her however the gun misfires again. The crocodile grabs her and pulls her underwater. Lee realizes that the hand holding the gun is in the crocodiles mouth. She pulls the trigger while it thrashes her around and the gun shoots the crocodile in the head. The crocodile dies and Lee makes her way back to Grace.
After trying to wake Grace up, Lee realizes she has died from blood loss. She mourns the loss of her sister.
Lee places Grace's body into the boat and begins paddling out of the swamp. A noise behind her alerts her however she sees nothing and continues paddling.
The location standing in for a vast mangrove sea system in northern Australia was actually in the directors' home town of Sydney, 25 minutes from the Central business district In a small suburb called Oatley. They also spent a week in Darwin shooting footage of real saltwater crocodiles that were transplanted into the location along with the actors, with the directing team doing their own CG special effects to achieve this.
- Montreal World Film Festival,
- Fantasy Filmfest, (Germany),
- Melbourne Underground Film Festival
- Commercial premiere 4 January in UK. Distributor, The Works UK
- North American distributor Grindstone Entertainment Group
-Two AFI Awards; Best Editing (Rodrigo Balart) and Best Supporting Actress (Maeve Dermody).
-Two FCCA Awards; Best Editing (Rodrigo Balart) and Best Supporting Actress (Maeve Dermody).
-Four IF Awards; Best Actress (Maeve Dermody), Best Director (David Nerlich and Andrew Traucki), Best Editing (Rodrigo Balart) twice.
-Best Cinematography (John Biggins)
-Best Director (David Nerlich and Andrew Traucki)
Black Water achieved positive reviews from critics achieving a "fresh" score of 79% on Rottentomatoes based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. Critics generally praised the lack of CGI commonly used in this type of film, as well as the tense plotting and suspense built from it. Neil Smith of Total Film Magazine also praised the ending stating it was "a conclusion that refreshingly refutes the genre rulebook".
Black Water grossed $111,989 at the box office in Australia.
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- Australian Film Commission (29 August 2007). "UK theatrical release for Black Water". afc.gov.au. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
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