The Black Demon – Film Review

Directed by Adrian Grünberg, The Black Demon is a horror/thriller film that stars Josh Lucas and Fernanda Urrejola.

Oil company worker, Paul Sturges (Josh Lucas) has been sent to a small town to inspect an oil rig. He decides to take his wife, Ines (Fernanda Urrejola) and their two children with him so they can also have a family vacation.

But their trip turns into a living nightmare when the family end up stranded on the oil rig after they encounter a giant shark that is protecting its territory. The family will need to try and find a way to get back to shore before the shark strikes again and destroys the oil rig.

It seems like there has been an influx of shark related films since Sharknado in 2013 and generally shark films are bad or are considered so bad, they’re good. I have watched some of these films and I must admit that they’re a little too silly for my taste. I was hoping that this film could be the exception and while it isn’t silly as Sharknado, it is rather forgettable.

The stakes are high, but the main characters barely ever feel like they are in any danger sort of dancer, which essentially reduces the threat of the shark for viewers. Even with the possibility of the oil rig under threat, the characters seem to act like they have all the time in the world. This made the film less thrilling than it could have been.

I really wanted to like the characters. But they were dull and didn’t really have anything remotely interesting about any of them. At the start of the film, I thought I was going to like Ines. She has nice character moments where she is brave, stands up for herself and protects her kids, so I was hoping that she would take on more of a heroic role. Sadly, her character didn’t quite go the way I had hoped she would.

I also didn’t find Paul to be very exciting or even likable. In fact, at times, his character can be annoying and doesn’t feel like much of a hero either. This is because as soon as Paul and his family are in a difficult situation, he seems to act frustrated about what has happened and like it is an inconvenience rather than acting like someone who wants to pull through and save his family.

Without giving too much away, I also felt like the ending was anti-climactic. It was severely unsatisfying and could have been executed better. The shark itself looked impressive and intimidating, I applaud the special effects team, but the rest of the film seemed to fall flat.

The Black Demon is unfortunately another bad film in a long list of bad shark films that don’t offer anything new to the genre. It is probably best to avoid it unless you are a hard connoisseur of shark films.

The Black Demon is in cinemas now and will be available to rent or buy from the 21st of June 2023 on Apple, Amazon, Google/YouTube, Microsoft, Foxtel, Fetch and Telstra.

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