Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Open Water - its terrifying ....

Despite having the dvd for years, I finally sat down and watched OPEN WATER, that 2003 indie film "based on true events" .... and it certainly lived up to my expectations of being absolutely terrifying.

A couple on a holiday in the Caribbean decide to spend the day on a scuba diving trip. But was it the wrong decision? When a mis-count happens on the boat, Susan and Daniel are left behind in the middle of the ocean, the boat long gone. With all their hopes set on the boat coming back to rescue them, they try to keep themselves safe, especially when sharks start to appear.

We start with our two busy yuppies who are constantly on the phone and playing with their gadgets, as they head off for a relaxing break including some scuba diving. This is a brilliant little film, written, directed and edited by Chris Kentis, filming at weekends, and with believeable performances by Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis. We see how it is all too easy to get left behind by the boat ..... 
later, after hours in the water, as they rage, bicker, tell each other they love each other, night begins to fall and creatures appear around and underneath them .... this of course ticks all the boxes regarding our fears of the deep and the unknown, and the idea of becoming shark food. It shows that our position at the top of the food chain is provisional. But what is most scary is the detached indifference with which our lives are regarded by the rest of the universe, as we see the two tiny people bobbing up and down in the sea and frantically trying to attract passing ships. 

SPOILER AHEAD: The ending here is speculation - we do not know what actually happened to the real couple who were left behind, but they never came back - their bank accounts and properties were never used. Here as both are weakened and battered and maybe hallucinating, he gets attacked first and is bleeding. He presumably loses consciousness due to blood loss and she lets him go as the denizens of the deep move in for their meal. 
Then, in that act of pure nihilism, she removes her body vest and goes under the water, as though offering herself up the ocean. Presumably she drowns herself before the sharks move on to her .... too late we see that they are missed and boats and planes start looking for them .... and the end credits reveal a dead shark being cut open and their camera discovered inside it.  

OPEN WATER is one of the most successful small budget films, financed by director Kentis and his wife, producer Laura Lau, both avid scuba divers. The movie cost $130,000 to make and was later bought by Lion's Gate for $2.5 million after its screening at Sundance.

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