“Open Water” (2003) – How many people never really got the hang of treading water? Please note that this critic is raising his hand. After 15 seconds or so in the deep end, where is the edge of pool, STAT?
Well, imagine needing to tread water in the middle of the ocean for a lot longer than 15 seconds. A lot longer. For Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis), keeping their heads above water in the deep blue sea is the least of their problems.
These two career-minded 30-somethings are an attractive couple who lead hectic professional lives, but they force themselves to take a vacation. Without much planning, they opt for a Caribbean getaway with sun, fun, drinks, and dancing. One morning, they decide to take the plunge, and opt for a scuba diving trip with 18 others on a boat called the Reef Explorer.
Once they reach the dive site called The Magic Kingdom, the boat engine stops, a ladder drops in the water, and the happy tourists jump in the ocean. When Susan and Daniel, however, rise to the surface, the Reef Explorer is gone.
The Captain and the boat left Susan and Daniel behind.
Based on true events, writer/director Chris Kentis shoots his film like a documentary, and everything looks and feels real, as Susan and Daniel must work to stay afloat like human buoys, with no land in sight. To make matters worse, they are not alone in the water, because sharks are close.
If threats of drowning or dehydration don’t make your palms sweat, sharks ripping at your flesh will. There is an awfully good chance that you’ll pull your feet up from your living room floor during an “Open Water” viewing, and especially during the second half of the 79-minute watery nightmare.
Oh, where the edge of the pool? It’s been 15 seconds.
Image credits: Lions Gate Films ; Trailer credits: Movieclips Classic Trailers