Black Water: Abyss
By Alistair Lawrence,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Low-budget Australian horror has violence, peril, swearing.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Courage and teamwork to overcome perilous situations. Caring for loved ones. Lies are exposed.
Positive Role Models
Friends teach each other outdoor activities and work together to escape peril. Characters shown to care for one another, but there is also some deception and relationship drama. The main cast is gender-balanced but has little diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Characters are attacked by dangerous animals, resulting in injury and death. Accidents in an underground cave result in scenes of terror and peril. Characters also sustain bloody injuries because of this, with some mild gore. Fatal attacks are generally cut away from and happen off-screen. Altercation with a firearm. Reference to cancer.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Conversations about pregnancy. Couple kiss while fully clothed on a bed.
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Language used includes "arse," "bastard," and variants of "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
Character takes pride in an expensive torch they bought for a trip.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol in pubs in moderation.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Black Water: Abyss is an Australian horror-drama with serious peril and a number of gory, deadly animal attacks. The bulk of the movie takes place with five friends -- led by (Luke Mitchell) and Cash (Anthony J. Sharpe) -- trapped in an underground cave system that is slowly flooding around them, while being under threat of death from predatory crocodiles. During this time they are shown to care for each other and work together, in attempt to keep one another safe from being attacked by dangerous animals. But eventually the lies of certain characters are exposed. During the crocodile attacks very little detail is shown on screen, but there is some gore and dismemberment after the cutaways. Characters are shown to be terrified and often experience bloody injuries. Swearing is occasional, usually in response to characters being shocked, surprised, or scared by imminent danger during their trip, but includes variants of "f--k," along with "arse" and "bastard." The movie has been described as a "spiritual sequel" to Black Water, a 2007 cult hit by the same director, Andrew Traucki.
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Black Water: Abyss
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What's the Story?
BLACK WATER: ABYSS follows the travels of five friends, led by Eric (Luke Mitchell) and Cash (Anthony J. Sharpe), through a network of caves in a remote part of Northern Australia. But when they discover a group of deadly crocodiles in the caves' water, their adventure turns into an escape mission.
Is It Any Good?
Borrowing the premise from Jaws, the setting of The Descent, and the killer crocs from a dozen forgettable B-movies, this horror-drama sets off underground and proceeds to lose its way quickly. Working with a script that has as many lines of memorable dialogue as it does new ideas, the cast do their best to gasp, splutter, and splash their way through Black Water: Abyss' choppy, poorly paced action sequences that are about as dramatic as a badly organized swimming lesson.
A bolted-on drama involving one character's cancer scare and another's pregnancy does little to raise the stakes. Watching what feels like a charmless soap opera play out in an unlikely setting, it's almost enough to make the viewer wish the water would rise a little higher and hope the crocodiles manage an early lunch.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in Black Water: Abyss. How much was shown, and how much was suggested? How did it affect you?
Was the movie scary? What's the appeal of horror movies?
Talk about the strong language in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
Discuss the relationships between the characters. Were they believable? How did their relationships impact the story?
- In theaters: August 7, 2020
- On DVD or streaming: October 6, 2020
- Cast: Jessica McNamee, Luke Mitchell, Amali Golden
- Director: Andrew Traucki
- Studio: Altitude Film Distribution
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: October 8, 2022
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