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Film / Black Water

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Are you ready to die?

Black Water is a 2007 Australian horror film, inspired by true events.

While on vacation in Northern Australia, Gracie (Diana Glenn); her husband, Adam (Andy Rodoreda), and her younger sister, Lee (Maeve Dermody), decide to take the Blackwater Barry tour in the swamp for fishing. Their guide, Jim, uses a small motorboat and takes the tourists along the river to a remote spot. When they stop, they are attacked by a huge crocodile that capsizes their boat and immediately kills Jim. The three survivors climb a tree and, when they realize that help would never come to rescue them, they decide to try to find a way out of their sheltered location. However, in the muddy water, their boat is flipped and the crocodile stalks the trio under the water.

The director would later go on and direct a Spiritual Successor titled The Reef. Not to be confused with the American Private Military Contractor company of the same name.


This film includes the following tropes:

  • Big Sister Instinct: Initially, we have both Grace and her boyfriend Adam towards Grace's shyer, more panicked sister Lee. However, Lee turns out to have a Little Sister Instinct herself. You see it emerging slowly throughout the film, but once Grace is injured, Lee is willing to face down crocodiles if it means she can get her sister out of there and to a hospital. Turns out she's just much braver for her sister's sake than she is for her own.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The crocodile is killed, but Adam, Gracie and her unborn baby did not survive.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Lee is in the crocodile’s maw and frantically pulling the trigger when the gun finally goes off and blows a hole in its head. Lee is coated in its blood.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jim's revolver, said to be his “insurance policy”. It eventually gets retrieved from his body.
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  • Enemy Rising Behind: Lee is trying to get the crocodile’s attention so she can shoot it by waving a piece of another victim’s body in the water. Naturally, the croc surfaces right behind her and she initially doesn’t notice.
  • Final Girl: After her older sister gets terribly injured in a crocodile attack, Lee is the last one left physically capable to fight off the crocodile. She does indeed kill it, but she returns to find her sister's lifeless body.
  • Fingore: Lee's fingers were bent in unnatural ways following her attack.
  • Hope Spot: This movie is full of this. Every time they make some attempt at escape, it either turns out to be fruitless, or they have to get in the water and the croc attacks someone. Then in the third act, Lee leaves the injured Grace in the relative safety of the tree so she can have another go at getting the boat. She actually ends up taking a gun off a previous victim and shooting the crocodile dead. She then makes her way back to the tree, calling out to her sister that she "did it," and she's coming and they can go home... Then she gets back to the tree to discover Grace died from her wounds while Lee was away. Ouch.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Adam brings up the song about three little monkeys in a tree teasing a crocodile. The others react appropriately.
  • Jump Scare: The crocodile jumps out of the water and almost gets Gracie while she's on a fairly high branch. The scene tells you that you should've feared for her more while she was hanging on the branches near the surface of the river.
  • Market-Based Title: The film is called Predator in the Philippines.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The main antagonist of the film is a huge saltwater crocodile.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The crocodile isn’t seen at all for much of the movie until after Adam is killed.
  • Recycled Premise: The stand-alone sequel, Black Water: Abyss, made by the same director, reuses not just the basic “trapped-with-crocodile” plot, but also the subplot of one woman in the group being pregnant and not yet having told the father, right down to a near-identical scene of the woman refusing a drink in the bar at the start.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The crocodile surfacing in the water looks like a monster, and is as savage as one.
  • Scenery Porn: The film shows off the beauty of Australia’s Northern Territory.
  • Shout-Out: To Film/Alien, when the trio plays charades in a bar and Lee tries to demonstrate the chestburster scene.
  • Trapped-with-Monster Plot: Stuck in a tree above a swamp with a territorial crocodile waiting below.