Director: Andrew Traucki Cast: Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering
A group of friends take a boat out sailing in the Great Barrier Reef area, only for their boat to capsize and leave them stranded. They try to swim back to the island where they came from, but find that a shark has caught their scent.
We all know that there will never be a shark film quite as good as Jaws– but this was exceptionally poor. The concept is a good one, but has been done before and to a much better result (Open Water is actually rather good). From the beginning the film tries to create suspense, but it backfires. For example, there’s a line before they set off that goes something along the lines of “Don’t worry, we never get sharks this far north”, which I think we can all agree is a poor attempt at foreshadowing. The jump scares are predictable (long stares into the distance with suspenseful music and then a fish jumps into view), and when the shark finally arrives there’s about five minutes of “it’s gone NO IT’S BACK no wait it’s gone NO IT’S BACK”. Bored.
There’s also an attempt at a romantic storyline. To be quite honest, if I’m watching a shark film I just want to see people get eaten- but in The Reef, when they do get eaten there’s virtually no gore, which kind of defeats the purpose for me. Plus, the characters are so annoying that I actually ended up rooting for the shark.
To sum up, don’t bother with this: Open Water is a much better version of what is virtually the same storyline.