Shot on digital video with a pair of unknown actors (Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis) who tread water for most of the film's brisk 79-minute running time, Open Water
is a fact-based exercise in primal fear that will scare the socks off anyone who dreads death from the deep, but it's familiar stuff if you've ever watched "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel (which is mentioned in writer-director Chris Kentis's economical screenplay). If you can't accept that a trendy young couple could be accidentally abandoned during an open-sea diving excursion (but hey, it really happened!), then you'll surely be hooked by the intense what's-gonna-happen anxiety that escalates when the horrified vacationers realize they've got unwanted company. It's too easy to call Open Water
a poor man's Jaws
, and the movie's too realistically frightening to be compared to the popcorn thrills of Deep Blue Sea
, so what you've got here is a shark movie that creates its own little low-budget niche. Before placing his actors in actual proximity to sharks, Kentis betrays them with some silly, bickering dialogue, but with adequate realism in its favour, Open Water
offers a perfect excuse to stay on the beach. --Jeff Shannon
This nail-biting low-budget natural thriller directed by independent filmmaker Chris Kentis tells the simple tale of a married couple, Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) who go on a diving trip while on holiday together. Both are experienced divers, and break away from the rest of the group to explore. Their dream holiday becomes a nightmare when the careless diving boat crew accidentally leave without them, stranding them with only basic scuba diving equipment in shark-infested waters. As time passes and their anxiety increases, the personal troubles inherent in the couple's relationship begin to surface, while the sharks draw ever closer...