Friday, 11 April 2008

Black Water

As human beings, we like to think of ourselves as being at the top of the food chain. Maybe that's why stories about man-eaters are so scary. We're not raised with the fear of our existence ending as a means of survival for a stronger creature. Naturally, even though animals don't hunt us, they can still kill us. That's what this film is about.

It starts innocently. Two sisters say their good byes to their mother before going on a trip into the wilds. They are accompanied by the husband of the older one. Their first stop: a crocodile park. Going by the music you'll probably already know who the main villain of this story will be. However, we don't see him up until the trio takes a guide and go into the swamp. They find themselves stranded, climbing a tree to survive, far from civilisation.

Their attempts are futile, they slowly lose hope. What I found especially interesting is how the film uses not only music to build up a mood but also a lack thereof. A short action sequence has an appropriate music to it while when they wait to try and think of something, there's no music, just the buzzing of mosquitoes. This creates a feeling of hopelessness and loneliness, it reflects their boredom as they wait for rescue and that it's them who they should look up for rescue. The film seems plain made, but that makes it more real, like something that could have happened. Apparently, it did as proved by the Based on a True Story intro. That one sentence just seems to spoil it. Creative liberties aside, I don't understand why there wasn't any information on what happened to the characters after the film's events. A simple technique, that even with changed names could only make this film better than it is.

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