The Reel Review


An oil company executive looking to mix a family vacation with a work assignment inspecting a dilapidated oil rig off the coast of Baja California gets more than he bargained for when he discovers a deadly mythical megalodon patrolling the waters. Josh Lucas (Yellowstone, Sweet Home Alabama) stars in this giant ancient shark thriller.

Josh Lucas, Fernanda Urrejola and Julio Cesar Cedillo in The Black Demon

The only thing shocking about The Black Demon is how completely awful it is. The CGI shark gets maybe about 60 seconds of total screentime – much of that in murky, hard-to-see water. It is less scary than it is mildly annoying. Add to that an obnoxious, profoundly unlikable protagonist (did Lucas actually read this script before he signed on?), a brainless story and some nonsensical, barely fleshed out Incan mythology about a vengeful demon shark, and well, there you have it.

From The Black Demon

Fernanda Urrejola (Blue Miracle, Cry Macho) at least comes across as a convincing momma bear early on, when, left back in the now mostly abandoned coastal town by Lucas’ character, goes on attack when locals start harassing her teen daughter at an outdoor bar. But once she and the kids quickly rent a boat to go check on dad, all coherent storytelling and acting goes out the window. The Black Demon may just be the worst shark film ever made.


• Despite no scientific evidence, the Mexican legend of El Demonio Negro has persisted among Baja California fishermen for decades. According to legend, this totally black, 50-foot-long shark overturns boats, attacks whales and can eat several sea lions in a single bite.

The Black Demon was filmed in the Dominican Republic.

Director Adrian Grunberg at a 2019 screening of Rambo: Last Blood in New York City.

• Director Adrian Grunberg was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director, for 2019’s Rambo: Last Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone.




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