Black Water Vampire (2014)

The Black Water Woods are the place of some horrible murders. Naked women have been found there, dead, with bizarre fang marks on their necks. The police pinned this spate of murders on local lunatic Raymond Banks (Bill Oberst Jr.), but a documentary filmmaker thinks something else might have killed those girls. Something with fangs.

Filmmaker Danielle (Danielle Lozeau) grabs three of her friends and marches into the woods to look at Raymond Banks’ old cabin and the murder sites. Unfortunately for the group the rumours of a-beast-in-the-woods might be less folk-lore and more FUCK-THERE’S-A-VAMPIRE!

Like the majority of found footage films, there has to be an immense suspension of disbelief and a total removal of logic from the audience’s point of view if they even want to remotely enjoy it. Black Water Vampire takes it to a new level…

The footage someone ‘found’ was thankfully spliced into a perfectly-edited film, complete with musical score and part-CGI monster! Either the victims – just before dying – managed to jump in the Black Water Editing Facility and make their film… or whoever found the footage thought they’d turn it into a horror film and monetise some murders. Whatever the case, it doesn’t make sense. But hey, who cares, right? As long as it’s compelling…

It’s not compelling. At all.

Like most found footage horror films, Black Water Vampire spends a LONG time showing absolutely nothing, lobbing rumour, speculation, noises etc… at the screen in an attempt to generate tension. Then – at almost exactly one hour in – they chuck in a ‘reveal’.

Whereas some found footage reveals are subtle and some reveals are deliberately confusing or out-of-focus (this is ‘found footage’ after all), the Black Water Vampire reveal is hilarious. It literally goes from zero to 100% in a matter of seconds, revealing the vampire in glorious detail and defecting any potential ‘what actually happened?’ debate once the movie is over. Unlike Blair Witch Project, this film is as subtle as a giant winged beast in the face. Even the trailer shows it.

Thankfully the acting and general filmmaking of Black Water Vampire is decent, but the plotting and hilariously insane final fifteen minutes make it a boring-then-ridiculous ride. The only genuinely excellent moment is the scene with Raymond Banks, but that’s due to Bill Oberst Jr’s superb performance as the wildly insane ‘murderer’.

Overall Black Water Vampire will unfortunately be consigned to the forgettable found footage funeral pyre. It has a couple of nice moments, and the vampire is actually very well realized… but otherwise it’s immensely pointless and uninspired. Probably best avoid.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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