The Watermen, 2011.
Written and Directed by Matt L. Lockhart.
Starring Jason Mewes, Richard Riehle, Floyd Abel, Luke Guldan and Tyler Johnson.
A group of sport fishermen and their attractive lady friends go on a fishing trip, but they soon get captured by some murderous watermen and must fight for their lives.
What worse place is there to be stranded than the middle of the ocean? With the boat engine tampered with and the flares missing, the dodgy watermen who filled the tank and sold the group interesting looking bait are of course to blame. The group are starving, deprived of drinking water and desperate. So when a large fishing boat comes along with aid, their desperation clouds their judgement. The water they glug so aggressively is laced with some sort of drug, and the group soon literally hit the deck unconscious.
The Watermen have got them right where they want them – ready to off them one by one to use their flesh for their bait-selling business, because fish of course can’t get enough of the taste of tasty, tasty human. These men of the sea are completely psychotic, well equipped on their island with a whole host of ways to maim the beautiful people and make a profit.
This low budget horror follows the conventions of the genre pretty rigidly, and unfortunately it does suffer a little for it. Of course, the tension is still there as you get behind the group and wish for their escape – but parts of The Watermen are painfully predictable, including the ending. You’ve got the pretty people, our victims, you’ve got the typical gore, and of course the mandatory nudity. The recipe for a decent budget horror is there, but it never rises above average. It dares to throw in a bit of rape, and complete exploitation of women, but it’s really nothing new, is it?
In terms of the film making, there are some well-crafted shots in The Watermen, and some interesting deaths (one, for example being a hook through a truck roof), but the most frustrating element of this film is the amount of pointless filler. The number of panning establishing shots that just waste time, and fade out into other panning establishing shot, is excruciatingly annoying. These, alongside a few other shots dotted throughout the film are completely fruitless and distracting.
The other failed element of The Watermen is the actual watermen themselves. They speak in an accent and tone that is pretty much impossible to work out. It’s difficult to feel threatened by killers that mumble in a way that makes them sound a bit…simple? It also makes what should be an interesting (but overused) speech by the ‘leader’ to one of the victims pretty pointless. The victim asks the waterman why they’re attacking innocent people, and from what I could make out, his response was that they ain’t so innocent at all. It always makes me cringe when this sort of dialogue is thrown into horror, it’s clearly some weak message about a society of sinners. Blah blah blah. It’s embarrassing.
All in all, The Watermen is not a terrible film. It’s average at best to be honest. It sticks to conventions and very rarely strays away from them. Modern horror has pretty much taken us in so many directions in terms of plot twists, that there’s little point in trying to create something new and unique – as proven by this entry to the genre.