The horror film begins in 1927 Turkey, where an excavation unearths cave etchings of the great god Pan, which somehow inspires one of the explorers to craft a board game based on what they found. Skip to present-day Maine, where that board game is found in a lakeside cabin by — surprise! — a bunch of annoying 20-somethings on a weekend vacation.
Although they pull the game out of a wall in a corner of the basement, the young people fail to see any problem. It’s well-designed, like a satanic Mouse Trap, yet the rules turn it into a highly sexualized version of Truth or Dare. The players lose their social filter; their eyes morph into pitch-black orbs; a goat man prances around — and none of this has to do with them being drunk and stoned.
Black Waters covers little ground, and unfortunately takes its sweet time to do it. Worst of all — with the exception of Mircea Monroe (TV’s Episodes), Mircea Monroe’s breasts (they have their own Twitter account), Danielle Harris (Hatchet III) and the extended cameo by Robert Patrick (Identity Thief) — Bologna has cast such thoroughly unappealing actors that spending 89 minutes with them is akin to torture.
OK, OK, so I exaggerate. Settle for “a chore”? After all, in an era where big-budget theatrical product can take a scant three to four months to hit DVD, there has to be a reason 2009’s Black Waters took five years. —Rod Lott
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