Black Water (2007 film)

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Black Water
Blackwater subpage.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Nerlich
Andrew Traucki
Produced byDavid Nerlich
Michael Robertson
Andrew Traucki
Written byDavid Nerlich
Andrew Traucki
StarringDiana Glenn
Maeve Dermody
Andy Rodoreda
Music byRafael May
CinematographyJohn Biggins
Edited byRodrigo Balart
Distributed byAV Pictures
Release date
  • 3 August 2007 (2007-08-03) (Nuremberg Fantasy Filmfest)
  • 22 February 2008 (2008-02-22) (United Kingdom)
  • 24 April 2008 (2008-04-24) (Australia)
Running time
89 minutes
United Kingdom
Box office$637,959[2]

Black Water is a 2007 horror film written and directed by Andrew Traucki and David Nerlich. The film, an international co-production of Australia and the United Kingdom, is set in the mangrove swamps of northern Australia, 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.[3]


While out on a fishing tour, Grace (Diana Glenn), her younger sister Lee (Maeve Dermody), and husband Adam (Andy Rodoreda), are convinced to go to a crocodile exhibit after learning how massive and aggressive the males get. Once they arrive at the docks, their tour guide, Jim (Ben Oxenbould), arms himself with a revolver and they set off. After failing to catch any fish on the usual route, Jim suggests going deeper into the swamps. Once they arrive at a small clearing, Lee spots something through her camera and alerts Grace, but later finds nothing.

Suddenly, the boat capsizes; dumping them into the water. Adam realizes a crocodile attacked them and helps Grace into a nearby tree. He then searches the water for Lee, who is tangled up in ropes underneath the boat. Grace sees a crocodile nearby and convinces Adam to come back. Lee frees herself, but the crocodile swims after her as she struggles to climb atop the boat. She manages to do so, but the beast thrashes the boat in an attempt to throw her off. Adam and Grace distract it, and it swims away. Realizing they can use the boat's ropes to pull her to safety, they attempt to execute this plan, only for the boat to get stuck. A hesitant Lee's forced to swim across, and despite panicking partway through, she makes it to her comrades. The girls suggest waiting for help, but Adam says no one saw them leave, so Grace tries climbing the trees all the way to the mainland. This doesn't work out for her, as she's forced to swim back. Along the way, she finds Jim's severed ear, but hides this from the others. An impatient Adam goes for the boat. He overturns it, but a crocodile grabs and kills him. The girls make numerous attempts to continue his plan, only to be thwarted at every turn by the croc.

The next day, they see the boat drifting away. Deciding it's a lost cause, they attempt to use the trees to get out of the clearing. Halfway across however, the crocodile attacks them. They make it back to their original tree, but Grace suffers a leg injury in the process. With Grace's condition worsening over time, Lee tries once again to reach the boat, but gets pulled underwater and knocked unconscious. She later finds herself on a small island alongside Jim's body. She patches herself up, takes his gun, and attempts to kill the croc; only for the gun to misfire. She flees, the beast close behind. It launches a sneak attack when she stops, and during the struggle, the gun finally works; killing it. The threat averted, Lee makes her way back to Grace, who has died from blood loss. She mourns her sister as she places her on the boat and paddles out of the mangrove.



The location representing the vast mangroves 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.[4]


Other festivals:


Black Water received positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 79% based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 5.93/10.[10] Critics 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."


Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
(2008 AFI Awards)
Best Supporting Actress Maeve Dermody Nominated
Best Editing Rodrigo Balart Nominated
Australian Guild of Screen Composers Music Award for Best Soundtrack Rafael May Won
FCCA Awards Best Supporting Actress Maeve Dermody Nominated
Best Editing Rodrigo Balart Nominated
Inside Film Awards Best Director David Nerlich Nominated
Andrew Traucki Nominated
Best Actress Maeve Dermody Nominated
Best Editing Rodrigo Balart Nominated
Melbourne Underground Film Festival Best Director David Nerlich Won
Andrew Traucki Won
Best Cinematography John Biggins Won

Box office[edit]

Black Water earned $98,901 in Australia and $637,959 worldwide.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ McMahon, Barbara (19 January 2008). "The night of the hunter". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  4. ^ George, Sandy (21 February 2007). "Same reptile, different scale". The Australian. Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  5. ^ FrightFest (23 August 2007). "FrightFest". Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  6. ^ Kelly, Brendan (17 April 2007). "Variety". Retrieved 8 August 2007.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Fantasy Filmfest (29 August 2007). "Fantasy Filmfest". Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  8. ^ Australian Film Commission (29 August 2007). "UK theatrical release for Black Water". Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  9. ^ Inside Film (29 August 2007). "AV closes more deals on crocodile thriller Black Water". Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  10. ^ "Black Water (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Black Water (2008)". Retrieved 25 February 2019.

External links[edit]