• Director: Adrian Grunberg
  • Writer: Carlos Cisco, Boise Esquerra
  • Stars: Josh Lucas, Venus Ariel, Fernanda Urrejola, Julio Cesar Cedillo


Paul (Lucas) is the safety inspection officer for the fictional company Nixon Oil. He and his family are on their way to Baja for a working holiday. Paul has to inspect the offshore oil rig and his family can enjoy Baja whilst he does this. However, something is not right in the town and Paul is treated with distain when he mentions his is with Nixon Oil. Paul ventures out to the rig and finds no one there bar two crew members, the rest have vanished. Paul finds the rig to be dilapidated and in major need of being shut down because no repairs are going to fix it. Paul and the two crew members see another boat coming toward the rig, and it’s Paul’s family who have decided to go to him after running afoul of some low lives in the town. The two crew members get agitated and begin firing flares and then Paul sees why – a megalodon (or as Paul puts it – I know a big-ass Shark when I see one) is menacing the boat. With Paul and his family on the oil rig and with no way to get safely off, they must devise a plan to get off the rig and destroy the giant shark.

Shark films are hard to do successfully. Not only do you have to compete with what is the greatest shark film having already been made but that there are literally thousands of shark films in existence and so how do you make yours stand out? Director Adrian Grunberg tries hard by only giving the audience glimpses of the shark but even then, it doesn’t look great. The film mentions the local god/legend that sends out the ‘black demon’ when you wilfully destroy or damage the earth. The black demon also messes with your head, whenever you are in the water, you’ll see severed body parts everywhere and it will scramble your thinking. Whilst these are really bloody cool and great ideas, the film doesn’t lean into one or the other enough, resulting in a mix that doesn’t work.

The acting is decent, Lucas gets the bulk of the work and does it well. In fact, all of the performances are earnest and are absolutely fine. The film just doesn’t decide if it wants to be an eco-horror, B movie or serious rumination on mankind’s desecration of the earth. With a few twists (that are telegraphed early on, if you’re listening) the film tries hard but in the end the parts just don’t add up. The shark isn’t rendered well enough, and the budgetary restrictions really show in that regard, however the oil rig setting is excellent, and I’d be happy to see more oil rig based horror films.

The Black Demon is exclusively in (US) Cinemas April 28, 2023.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: