Movie Review: The Black Demon (2023)
Synopsis: Sent to Mexico to inspect an oil rig, Paul Sturges decides to make a family trip of it and brings his wife and two kids. However, when they arrive, they discover the once bustling community is now in poverty, the oil rig is leaking oil and only two of its crew members remain. Oh, and there is a giant megalodon shark circling the rig, trapping Paul and his family, a demon that is looking to get revenge on Paul for his role in the environmental disaster.
Review: My wife added this to our Amazon Prime list and chose it for a movie night last night. I admittedly had some doubts about it, mostly because our choices in shark movies haven't exactly been paying off lately. However, I gave it a chance.
As it turns out, it was about what I expected it to be.
I think, in addition to being a rip-off of the film The Meg, this movie makes a cardinal mistake too many shark movies make - there's not enough shark.
Truth be told, it almost felt like the shark was added last minute because it really wasn't needed as far as the overall plot went. If anything, it was overkill. The whole point of Paul (Lucas) being sent to the oil rig in the first place was the result of an elaborate murder/cover up plot. Based on that and how the plan was supposed to unfold, a movie about a man and his family being trapped in the middle of the ocean on an oil rig that was about to blow up would have been just fine. A demon megalodon just made the whole thing seem a bit silly.
Of course, the unneeded shark drama was probably as much about making this film seem less dull than anything else. For an action movie/thriller, there really wasn't a whole lot of action or thrills. If anything, way too much of the movie seemed to be people talking and people arguing. Oh, and a whole lot of technical jargon when they were trying to figure out ways to escape.
I will give the movie some credit, the ending was unexpected. I'm not saying it was a good ending, but at least it wasn't the predictable finale I thought would happen. I do, however, question the judgment to end the film on a bit of a downer when movies like this tend to be slightly more satisfying with a true happy ending.
Final Opinion: The movie needed to pick a lane. It might have been a decent shark movie had the megalodon played a larger role. It might have been a decent thriller had the shark been removed completely and the filmmakers used the extra time to add more action. Since they tried to have both, it just flopped.
My Grade: D