Tagged: Luke Mitchell


Summary: A group of friends find themselves trapped by a rising floodwaters while they explore a new caving system. Their fear raises even more when they realise that the cave is also home to a killer croc.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 30th July 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 30th July 2020

Australian VOD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Andrew Traucki

Screenwriter: John Ridley, Sarah Smith

Cast: Amali Golden (Yolanda), Bejamin Hoetjes (Viktor), Rui Kkiuchi (Miyuki), Jessica McNamee (Jennifer), Luke Mitchell (Eric), Louis Toshio Okado (Akita), Anthony J. Sharpe (Cash)

Running Time: 98 mins

Classification: M (Australia)





Dave Griffiths’ Blood Vessel Review:

Water horror? Is it a sub-genre? I’m not sure to be honest, but if it was then Australian director Andrew Traucki would be the king of it. A festival of his films would have people declaring they would stay out of water for a long time to come.

See, one of things that I love about Traucki’s body of work is that he makes horror films that are so realistic you can easily imagine yourself getting into that sticky situation. Traucki doesn’t make movies about mysterious things that go bump in the night. He makes films like Black Water, a film about a group of friends going for a leisurely boat-ride and suddenly finding themselves stranded with a killer croc between them and safety. Then there was The Reef in which a group of scuba divers find themselves stranded with only Jaws’ cousin to keep them company.

Given his track record I was excited to see what Traucki would do with Black Water: Abyss, yet at the same I was a little bemused at why he was making a sequel to the brilliant Black Water some thirteen years after the original. After watching the film I am even more stunned. The original Black Water is one of Australia’s hidden gems; it was largely over-shadowed by the better box-office performing Rogue, yet this follow-up is mediocre at best.

The problem with Black Water: Abyss is its characters, its plot and its believability. While Traucki’s films have all been believable this one is not. While yes a group of cave explorers could become trapped with a killer croc – the idea that an expert cave diver like Eric (Luke Mitchell – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) would go into an unknown cave system while there is bad weather anywhere in the State is unbelievable. It goes against caving 101.

The second problem with this film is the characters themselves. Important relationships and secrets that the characters have should have been revealed a lot earlier in a bid to raise the tension, while Cash (Anthony J. Sharpe – Hunter’s Moon) is just a walking cliché. He almost feels like he is there for comedic relief when no comedy is needed in this film. Then sadly there are characters like Viktor (Benjamin Hoetjes – The Code) and Yolanda (Amali Golden – The Invisible Man) who are so bland you don’t really care whether they become a croc snack or not.

Likewise the film’s plot never elevates to the level of suspense I thought it would. I thought a film about people trapped in a cave with rising water and a crocodile would have been a pretty suspenseful affair but instead it felt like the characters were just wondering from cave to cave with the suspense only raising occasionally when the croc decided it was time for a snack.

Fans of the original Black Water should not go into this film expecting something as equally as good like I did. The original film is a reminder of just how good low-budget Aussie thrillers can be… the sequel is a massive let-down.





Kyle McGrath’s Black Water: Abyss Review:





Average Subculture Rating:



IMDB Rating:

Black Water: Abyss (2020) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Blood Vessel Reviews:





When it comes to genre filmmaking Australian filmmakers have always punched well out of their weight division. The result has been a number of Australian made genre films doing well overseas while names like George Miller, James Wan and Leigh Whannell have become household names for fans of the genre art-form.

Now director Andrew Traucki is about to take that huge step with his latest film Black Water: Abyss now showing in cinemas in Phuket. The award-winning filmmaker has perfected his craft over the years with brilliant horror thrillers such as The Reef and The Jungle while his latest film is a sequel to the film that started it all for him – 2007’s Black Water.

Traucki laughs as he talks to The Phuket News about what made him want to do a follow-up to his lauded crocodile horror thirteen years later. “Well someone had to write it,” he says laughing loudly. “It is an interesting question though because my journey has never been one of instant success. Every one of these films has been a struggle to make because of the financing side of things. So, for me it was a mixture of not really knowing if I wanted to make another film because I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as the ‘crocodile guy’ so I went on and did other things… but it does seem like people prefer my animal movies.”

And animals certainly do play an important part of Traucki’s films… or perhaps we should say creatures. Black Water: Abyss like its predecessor sees a group of cave explorers, led by Jennifer (Jessica McNamee The Meg) and Eric (Luke Mitchell – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), trapped underground in a cave system with rising waters and a killer crocodile who wants to defend his territory.

It was that mixture of the cave and the crocodile that made Traucki want to be involved after he read the initial screenplay. “That was one of the greatest appeals of the script,” he explains. “Not only do I get to play with a crocodile, which is a top apex predator which makes it pretty scary, it is also all set in the dark while the original was all set in the day. So yeah, there is nothing quite like the darkness to make the film scary. That and them trapped in a cave with rising water and that felt like a pretty scary scenario.”

Of course though filming in and around water can be an absolute nightmare for a film crew and again Traucki laughs when we point out that it seems to be something that he has done in a few of his films now. “It is hellish, I don’t know why I keep doing it,” he says again laughing loudly. “I must have been a bad person in a past lifetime and now karma is catching up with me… that must be the reason why I keep coming back to water.”

“Look, I love water. I live by the beach and I surf all the time,” he admits. “I think that it is a great texture and an element to a film but it is difficult to film with. Gear gets destroyed and all kinds of mishaps can happen, people can get really cold and they catch hypothermia. It can be really slow going because you have to go through this stuff every day. So yeah, it is not an easy thing to work with but it just so happens that sharks and crocodiles live in the stuff so we have had to make these things with that added element of water.”

As the interview goes on it soon becomes very obvious that Traucki was also very excited about being able to work with such a talented Australian cast. “Luke was pretty keen to be involved,” he says as we talk about the film’s star Australian actor Luke Mitchell who over the past few years has been working in the U.S. on shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Blindspot. “He wanted to come home for a bit. His mother lives on the Gold Coast and we were filming in Brisbane. I think Jess (McNamee) wanted to come home for a bit as well because she is L.A. based.

“They were both motivated by the script as well,” he says still focussing on the stars. “But they also did both want to come home, and they had seen my previous work. So that is how we got them in the end, but it is never an easy road with casting.”

The hard-work that has gone into Black Water: Abyss is obvious and this is the kind of horror-thriller that will keep its audience on the edge of their seat… while they make a mental note to never set foot in the water again.


Black Water: Abyss opened in Phuket cinemas on August 12th.