Open Water

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Open Water: A Film That May Terrify You~Don't Go In The Water~

Apr 1, 2006 (Updated Apr 1, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Action Factor:
  • Special Effects:
  • Suspense:

Pros:May leave you breathless, or not!

Cons:The stupidity of the boats crew members

The Bottom Line: Not a movie for all, especially those who like happy endings. There were some very terrifying moments.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.

Last night, as I was wondering what to watch on TV, I found a movie playing, Open Water, which I had wanted to see for a while now, so I sat back and waited to be entertained…I waited and waited but that entertainment eluded me…Instead I was frightened a bit, well, maybe more than a bit, and angered at the stupidity I had seen on the screen.


Basically this movie, based on a true story, about a two people, Susan, (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel, (Daniel Travis) a young couple badly in need of a vacation, who go to an island resort, somewhere in the Caribbean; at least I think that’s where they were. They are having a nice time, not great, we are led to believe, since this vacation was not their first choice and not the most luxurious, with a broken air conditioner in their room, not the best thing when you are in a hot tropical climate. I guess this non-working A.C is the catalyst for a gratuitous nude scene though I’m sure the men in the audience didn’t mind it. Especially since Susan wasn’t interested in the advances Daniel made that night in bed I figured it was because she was hot from the lack of the cool air conditioning and not because she was feeling amorous.


Anyway, they go off on a deep-sea scuba diving trip, on a boat which specializes in such things, along with 18 other divers out into the Open Water off the coast of wherever it is they are staying. This is where the stupidity comes in. There is some confusion about the number of divers in the water when they come out due to the fact that two divers came back early when one of them had an inner ear problem…Then she, one of those divers, lent her mask to another diver, who had forgotten his, and he went in for his dive with her partner...Apparently the crew member in charge of counting the divers when they returned didn’t know about the two who went in and came out so he counted them twice and when he reached the number 20 he said the divers were all accounted for....So, the boat pulled up anchor and left. I would think there would be a better system of counting then the primitive one he used.


But where are our main characters? Well, they had gone a bit further and deeper than the other divers and didn’t realize how far and for how long so they were a bit late in returning, but only by a few minutes. At this point I again wondered why the boat captain and crew didn’t check a bit more carefully to see if all the divers were back…This upset and angered me at the same time since I’ve been out on boats snorkeling many times and on boats where there have been divers as well…I have seen how carefully the people in charge have been about accounting for all of us on our return, checking and double checking, so this ineptitude of the member of the crew really bothered me.


So now we get into the true gist of the story.

Poor Susan and Daniel…When they realize what happened they didn’t completely panic, thinking their boat will return for them, they see a few other boats out in the water and decide not to swim to them thinking they should be in the general vicinity of the where their boat was when it returned for them...Now, if that were me, I would have swum like the biggest fish at sea to try to get to another boat…I also would have made a lot more commotion then they did when they tried to signal the boats by just waving their arms.


Time passes, they float around, and as they talk we get an idea of what was wrong in their relationship before this trip...Nothing too severe I guess because ultimately we do find they have a deep love for one another. All of a sudden we see the fin of large shark. The suspense builds up and was very well done, sneaking in that fin amid the waves, the first sign of the terror to come...He laughingly says oh, it’s a Dolphin. She says, if it was a Dolphin you would have swum out to it...More time passes and suddenly she feels something by her leg. They are in the midst of a school of Jelly Fish (this is something that happened to me once and it was very scary). They successfully swim away from them with only a few stings…More time passes.


We see the boat arrive at the dock but nobody notices Susan and Daniel's gear still on board, at least not yet.


More time passes and with it more sharks arrive to investigate these two people in their turf, the deep blue water. These scenes are truly terrifying and very well photographed, we can imagine their fear as we observe the complete isolation and helplessness they feel against the sharks that soon are everywhere, then suddenly the worst fear, a horrible pain in Daniels leg...Night falls. These are the most frightening scenes in the movie.


A quick flash back to the resort where people are dancing the night away and having a grand old time.


Meanwhile, in that total, complete blackness of the ocean we can only see Daniel and Susan when lightening strikes in the distance. At this point I must say I was practically sitting on the edge of my seat.


When morning arrives, the boat captain finally finds their gear as he was getting the boat ready for the next diving expedition. Finally, but is it too late?


Without giving the ending completely away, I must say I was very upset with the ultimate outcome and very angry at the lack of awareness on the part of the boat’s crew.


I have to admit that thinking about Open Water, now that some time has passed, when I started writing this review I thought it was going to be a bit more negative then it turned out to be.…...I guess I enjoyed the movie more than I initially thought I did, if enjoy is the proper word to use. Would I see it again, no, I don’t think so. Would I recommend it? Well, I guess I have changed my mind and would, but only for those who really don’t need a happy ending and who like to be terrified by the unseen and by the reality of what lies out there in the Deep Blue Open Water of the Sea.

A Few Facts

Open Water was featured in the Sundance film festival…It was directed by Chris Kentis and produced by his wife Laura Lau on a very limited budget...They did all the filming themselves and with actual sharks involved. The actors wore special steel mesh under their wetsuits…This in itself had to be quite an ordeal and was definitely an accomplishment for all involved. This is a short film, only about 90 minutes.


Recommend this product? Yes


Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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