Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Open Water (2003)

Two inexperienced divers, one camera, and an endless ocean. That is all it took to make OPEN WATER a riveting success on a limited budget back in 2003. Movie-goers expecting to find the next JAWS may have been sorely disappointed, but those seeking true terror in a real-world setting found it here. Susan and Daniel take off to the Caribbean for an island getaway, but their dream vacation soon becomes a nightmare when they are left stranded in the middle of the ocean during a scuba diving lesson. As panic, dehydration, and fatigue begin to set in, the couple soon comes face to face with many other dangers as they struggle to survive. Many cite the uneventfulness of the plot as a critical flaw, when it has actually has quite the opposite effect. The characters are left to dissect the situation, to pass through the various stages of denial, anger, and depression as they await their fate. Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis hit a few rough patches in their acting, but overall their honest performances show heart-felt emotion and clear character progressions. While the two are eventually swarmed by sharks, the helpless feelings of being lost at sea and not knowing what might be hiding beneath the surface prevail over the gruesome attacks. There are still a number of jarring moments where the long strings of dialog are broken up by the sudden thrashing of a shark's tail just inches away from the characters. Chris Kentis' use of digital filming also creates a documentary-like look and feel that draws the viewer into the reality of the situation. OPEN WATER is a big win for Indie filmmaking, and a frightening tale of man versus nature.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked OPEN WATER, check out:
OPEN WATER 2, FROZEN, BLACK WATER.

20 comments:

  1. I liked this one, too. Was such a scary, could-happen premise ...

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  2. If you like good cinema, you won't like 'Open Water 2' or 'Black Water.' There- I said it.

    As for this film, I can't attest to it's quality. I haven't seen it.

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  3. How did you end up seeing Adrift without seeing Open Water? Random lol..

    I actually dont mind Adrift, I love the irony, but Black Water is by all accounts a cheap ripoff with a craptacular CG croc.

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  4. Wasn't a big fan of this one. I guess I was put off by the "uneventful" plot, as you say. Watching a movie with high expectations is never a good idea; maybe I should give it a another chance and watch if for the emotion instead of the action.

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  5. Yea, there wasn't a whole lot going on in this movie, but what do you expect from two people stuck in the middle of the ocean. This movie scares the hell out of me because sharks are my biggest fear. I think I would have had a heart attack if I saw that boat leave me. Then again, there is no way in hell I would go in that water. No way!!!

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  6. You give it a more favorable rating than I've seen anywhere else. I thought it was alright, though a tad dull.

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  7. Open water was good...the first one at least the second was just so horrible I rented it thinking since that it was called "open water 2" it would be about sharks (since the first one was), but no not one shark attack which was very freaking dissapointing.
    :(

    Two awsom looking shark movies to look forward to are "The Reef" and "Bait 3D".

    Look them up.

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  8. I havent heard of either of those so I am all in Ryan, thanks for the recommendations!

    I'm surprised more people don't like this film. As a 'Horror' film, I can understand why it is not more widely accepted, but I really like the fact that there was so much emptiness and waiting. It really captures the idea of being lost at sea perfectly, with the characters first being pissed at the boat crew and then turning on each other in their anger. They pass through all of the emotions I would have expected to in the same situation. The sudden shark attacks always catch me off guard too, love it!

    Give it another shot my aquatic friends, maybe the next viewing will win you over =D

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  9. I feel the need to come to BLACK WATER's defense - I like that at LEAST as much as OPEN WATER... so there, anyway, is my indignant counter-point to TimTE01's nearly unprovoked attack on one of my beloved killer croc flicks. :)

    That said, I liked the original OW as a one-timer, but thought it lacked any real re-watchability... the second, completely shark-less OW nearly put me to sleep.

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  10. For a one time watch like you say I liked it, and certainly felt for the characters. I think your rating was very fair, great post

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  11. The CG croc killed BLACK WATER for me, I found it to be a bit more boring than OPEN WATER as well, but I still come back to it occasionally. I actually prefer it over ROGUE, oddly enough.

    I've seen OPEN WATER about 5-6 times, and I still enjoy it with every viewing.

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  12. For the record, I have no problem seeing 'Adrift' without seeing 'Open Water' for one simple reason: it's not a sequel.

    As far as 'Black Water,' I would have honestly liked it if it had been a cheesy film. I could accept the 'let's wait around' thing if you had a super-smart crocodile or something. As it is, it's just boring as hell.

    If I was ever in their situation, I would have been terrified- no doubt. As a viewer, I just didn't give a crap.

    As far as killer croc films go, make mine 'Dinocroc.' :-)

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  13. Random in the sense that Open Water was a relatively big film since it hit theaters and I didnt even know more htan 5 people had seen Adrift!

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  14. Kinda didn't like Open Water...it sorta felt forced with the sharks.

    But then again there was gratuitous nudity so I get easily swayed.

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  15. it made me sea-sick, i turned it off... so yeah i have a weak stomach....

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  16. This film was to me more like a good piece of theater than a typical Hollywood film. If you are expecting extraordinary gigantic shark attacks this is not the movie you are looking for. Open Water is a film aimed at a realistic account of a couple left out in the ocean and the emotions, struggles, and challenges brought about by that situation. Open Water is more of a drama than a horror film.

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  17. I happen to like OPEN WATER quite a bit. It's of the BLAIR WITCH school of horror of 'Like It, Hate It' with no real middle ground. OPEN WATER 2 was just plain outright awful.

    Regarding BLACK WATER, it's based on a true incident and there were no CGI crocodiles in the film. CG was used for some scenes to put the real creature (a 15 foot croc if I remember right) in the same shot as the actors. They talk about this on the doc on the DVD. I'm with J., too, I happen to like this one as well.

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  18. Now that I think about it you are 100% right V, I remember the crocs being real but sometimes appearing to be awkwardly inserted in to the frame.

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  19. I've talked about my policy regarding films with a lot of hype before. That's why I have yet to see it.

    As to how I found it, I was assembling a list of direct-to-video sequels to review and found it. My response was 'they made another one of these.'

    I just can't bring myself to liking the sequel or 'Black Water.' I really did try with them- honest.

    I hope it appears less random now.

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  20. That actually makes more sense than anything I have ever heard in my entire life lol.. Explains so many reviews on MB!

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