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Open Water Movie Review

Published January 12, 2005 in MOVIE REVIEW
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Lions Gate Films
Yes, Blanchard Ryan looks good. The movie warms you up with a nice nudity shot.
I have finally scene the movie that is 'good or just as good as Jaws.' You know, the movie with the two scuba divers left out in the ocean. You know, there are tons of sharks. Ok ok, if you haven't got it by now, I have seen the film Open Water and let me say this: "I am never going scuba diving!" What began as a chinsy home video recording turns into one of the creepiest and most disturbing films I've seen in some time.

Open Water- The Story

The story is simple. We are greeted with what seems to be a married couple, Susan and Daniel, about to take what looks like a hurried vacation as both [more so the wife] are completely tied up with a life of work. Now, for the first ten or so minutes of the film, I was a little worried about how things were looking. First off, the filming looked as if it was done with a standard home video camera [ala Blair Witch Project] with some awkward angles to boot. While some of the camera angles I appreciated, others were completely unnecessary. On the other hand, I was able to easily look past this thanks to the blatant full nudity scene by Susan [played by Blanchard Ryan]. Wow, that was nice. Ok, back on topic.

Open Water fools its viewers for about the first fifteen to twenty minutes of the film. During this time, it just seems like you are watching a semi-decent acted home video attempt at making a feature movie. However, once the couple hits the water, the film stock changes and the camera stock becomes much better [that of a feature film]. And I got to say, there are some brilliant uses of the camera while in the water. But on to that later.

So, the couple goes on vacation to an island with a scuba trip somewhere in their agenda. Susan and Daniel, not wanting to hang with the rest of the scuba group, decide to go off by themselves and follow other deep sea creatures. As long as they get back to their boat by a certain time, they should be fine. Well, as you can assume, this is not the case as a miscount causes their tour boat to leave them stranded in... Open Water. The film actually hurries you to their abandonment within 20 minutes.

I would urinate and scare it away with my warm cloud. If that didn't work... I would shit myself.
For the rest of the showing of Open Water, you will find yourself holding your breath as you watch the two cling to life as they try to wait for rescue.

Open Water- The Review

With that said, you are going to enjoy this film. I do not know what it is about Open Water, but there is something there that makes this film seem all too real and all too disturbing. Once the two divers enter the water, the film picks up its game and warns you to hold on tight. From this point on, there is a noticable improvement to just about every aspect of the film including Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis' [who play as the couple] acting, camera work [creative and well done], and the eery sense of not knowing what is around you.

I want to say more about Open Water but want all to experience the same suspense as I did. However, I do have to tell you one of my [many] favorite shots of the film. There is a scene where we encounter the couple floating lazily on the ocean top as they begin to lose hope. The camera rocks with them and almost seems to accidently dip under the waterline oh so quickly. What do you see in that brief moment? Ahh, one of the creepiest shots in shark movie history! Go see the movie!

Final Judgment: I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. I don't want to follow a cliche, but Open Water is just as cool as Jaws with its different approach to underwater horror. What is worst, being eaten whole by a giant shark or caught in the middle of what looks to be a feeding frenzy? Well, if that isn't disturbing enough, this film is based on a true story. I can only imagine.

Open Water was written, directed, and edited by Chris Kentis after he learned of real incidents of scuba divers being left at sea. Lions Gate Films was the distributor.
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Sources: Images property of Lions Gate Films

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