Black Demon (Grünberg, 2023) – Movie Review

As you may know by now I love my creature features, especially shark films. Since I watched Jaws for the first time I was hooked. I really like the ones that take real world inspiration particularly. For instance, Jaws was inspired by the Jersey Shore shark attacks. Black Demon takes a more mythological approach, taking inspiration from a Mexican myth- the Black Demon.

Details of Black Demon

The Black Demon: Trailer 1
Image Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Distributor: The Avenue
Production Companies: Highland Film Group, BuzzFeed Studios, Mucho Mas Media, & Silk Mass
Director: Adrian Grünberg

Producers: Kota Javier Chapa, Jon Silk, Arianne Fraser, & Delphine Perrier

Scriptwriters: Boise Esquerra & (Story by) Carlos Cisco

Main Cast: Josh Lucas, Fernanda Urrejola, & Julio Cesar Cedillo
Released: 28th April 2023

Running Time:  100 Minutes

Story of Black Demon

The Black Demon: Plot, Cast, Release Date, and Everything Else We Know
Image Source: Movie Web

The story follows a family travelling to a Mexican village in Baja for the father’s work. He’s tasked with inspecting the local oil rig. Upon arrival the locals act abrasive to the family. Including staring at them nearly constantly. When the father leaves to inspect the rig the family are even scared off by the locals and forced to flee on boat to the oil rig, thinking that would be safer. Little did they know a mythological megalodon was awaiting them.

Analysis of Black Demon

The Shark Design

Shark Movie The Black Demon Beats Prime Video's Major Releases To Score #1  Streaming Spot

Black Demon’s titular creature’s design is really sub-tacular and that’s when it’s not changing size. Which could be due to the shark being of mythological nature and not an actual shark. They could have used the oil rig/environmental guardian angle more in their design. Apart from a lot of scratches it simply just looks like a bloated great white, which does add a bit of familiarity. Allowing the audience to know exactly what they should fear. Allowing it to build up slowly, unfortunately with no big fright scenes the tension simple fizzles out.

Missed Chance

After the father was revealed to have more knowledge in the oil rigs condition and impact to the local environment and people. He even had a big hand in keeping it open. Despite this the film sets him up for redemption (which isn’t a problem) the problem comes when it doesn’t really come. It was setup like he was going to sacrifice himself to defeat the monster he created to help save both his family and the town. Somehow he manages to survive and all sense of weight/price for literally being the cause of death of so many locals.


The Black Demon: Exclusive Trailer - IGN
Image Source: IGN

Black Demon deserves props for its creatively unique story in an overpopulated genre that usually is devoid of creativity. However, the shark’s poor inconsistent design can pull viewers out of the overall experience. We are all used to creatures changing in size depending on what the shot calls for, but modern day cinema has gotten a lot better at keeping size consistent. The shark in the movie unfortunately looks like someone has been inflating and deflating it in between shots. The cast are not the best either which again is unfortunately another trend in the genre. If you love shark films or creature features on a whole it’s worth watching, otherwise I’d look for something else to put on.

Recommendation: Yes (only if you love creature features or mythology)