OPEN WATER

Food Chain Fears

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: August 06, 2004

Starring: Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis

Genre: Thriller

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 79 minutes

Address Comments To:

Tom Ortenberg, President
Lions Gate Films
4553 Glencoe Ave., Suite 200
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (310) 314-2000
Fax: (310) 396-6041
Website: www.lionsgatefilms.com

Content:

(HH, B, C, LLL, VV, NNN, A, D) Humanist worldview in which a couple must survive being stranded in shark-infested waters, with moral themes of courage and protecting loved ones, and Christian element where one character utters part of the Lord’s Prayer; 23 obscenities (with 15 “f-words”), nine strong profanities, implied scene of woman vomiting from seasickness, and countless exclamations of “Oh God” or similar references; implied violence with sharks and other fish biting limbs, blood in water, screams of terror, and images of shark being cut up by fishermen, and implied “giving up” (possible suicide) by one character after long ordeal; couple kisses in bed; full female and male nudity; adults drink and smoke; and, nothing else objectionable.

GENRE: Thriller

Summary:

OPEN WATER is about a couple mistakenly stranded in shark-infested waters. OPEN WATER is a captivating look at our fascination with terror, but leaves you feeling slightly cheated with the overall experience, which includes strong foul language and explicit nudity.

Review:

What if this happened to you? You and your spouse break away for a much-needed diving vacation in a tropical island setting. After enjoying the beauty and wonder of your coral reef dive, you surface and learn your dive boat has mistakenly left you alone in OPEN WATER. This is the predicament Susan and Daniel find themselves in. After hours pass with no sign of rescue, sharks circle in their deadly waiting game and the couple realizes that they may not survive this harrowing ordeal.

OPEN WATER has been compared to a cross between JAWS and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. That is a poor comparison, but it hints at the frightful experiences waiting Susan and Daniel. JAWS was scary but absurd in many ways. So, too, was BLAIR WITCH. But, OPEN WATER resonates with reality. As a low budget independent, the husband-wife team who made the movie avoided using special effects and a consistent musical score. In addition, their use of digital cameras over film subtly enhances the documentary feel of the story. Incorporating several island-type hymns was a stroke of genius as they properly contribute to the haunting and foreboding feelings.

OPEN WATER, then, is an updated approach to our fascination with terror, our admittedly low position on the food chain, and a confrontation of the most basic of human fears. It is sensitive and terrifying, and audiences will surely empathize with the stranded couple’s plight.

However, the claim in the opening frames, “Based on True Events,” is misleading. The movie is a work of fiction based on the concept that these events may have happened to someone. . . somewhere. That deflating notion aside, OPEN WATER is a well-crafted thriller that leaves you feeling slightly cheated with the overall experience.

OPEN WATER, however, contains explicit nudity and strong language. At one point of desperation, a character utters part of the Lord’s Prayer, but this seems like weak lip-service to the subject of faith. The story’s focal point is the couple’s valiant struggle against all odds, even if there is no assured victory. Like everyday life, it is difficult to survive extreme circumstances on your own strength.

In Brief:

OPEN WATER is about a couple getting away for a much-needed holiday. After diving at a coral reef site, they surface and discover an inept dive boat crew has mistakenly left them stranded in shark-infested waters. Susan and Daniel struggle with this predicament and the hours of high emotions, a blame game, apologies, and expressions of love. After floating for hours with no sign of rescue, sharks begin circling. Susan and Daniel wrestle with the possibility that they may not survive this harrowing ordeal.

OPEN WATER is a captivating look at our fascination with terror, our admittedly low position on the food chain, and a confrontation of the most basic of human fears. It is a well-crafted thriller, but it leaves you feeling slightly cheated with the overall experience. It also contains explicit nudity and strong language. At one point of desperation, a character utters part of the Lord’s Prayer, but this seems like weak lip-service to the subject of faith. The story’s focal point is the couple’s valiant struggle against all odds, even if there is no assured victory. Like everyday life, it is difficult to survive extreme circumstances on your own strength.