Sharks just nibble at first, that's the scary part
Josh C - wrote on 03/12/07
If you weren't afraid of the water before this film you certainly will be after. Open Water is the new, raw and unrefined, Jaws. It is filmed much like a documentary and it follows the life of one couple who gets stranded in the Caribbean. This style of filming takes a bit to get used to because it is usually associated with armature movies, but it is this style that really pulls the film together and makes it so believable.
The two main characters, Susan and Daniel; played by Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis are relatively new to having the starring role and do a great job. They have great chemistry together and really get the audience to relate to them because the dialog and acting is so raw. There is no "typical Hollywood formula" in this movie. I was waiting for events of deceit and betrayal because that is what Hollywood has made me expect. What you get here is a fairly predictable, but utterly scary and intense movie that will have you telling all your friends to watch it when you are done staring at the black screen after the credits are long over.
Open Water really gets you thinking about what you would do in a situation like that. How would you act? We would all like to think we would be shark-fighting machines yet in reality we would probably do the exact same thing they did, drift. They float and wait for their boat to pick them up. They are already lost for many hours before they allow themselves to admit that their boat has left them behind. At this point panic and what-ifs take over their actions. The most unsettling part about watching this, is that you typically only get a glimpse of what is beneath them, so you have to listen and watch them to figure out what, if anything, is below. This really creates a lot of suspense and keeps you wondering how long they will make it.
The film is only 81 minutes and normally that would really rub me the wrong way. In this case the film was just the right length, long enough to get us to care about the characters but short enough to not drag anything out. All-in-all, director Chris Kentis did a great job of scaring the crap out of me and any movie that can get me to say "holy shit" that many times is a good one.