Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Second Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series - Movie #5: Open Water

Okay, if I do this movie series again next October, all y'all have to give me some movie suggestions because I'm not doing a very good job of picking them out myself.  The latest less than stellar offering?  Open Water, a tepid hybrid of when-animals-sort-of-attack and man-at-the-mercy-of-the-elements, based-on-a-true-story film about a couple who are inadvertently left behind on a diving trip in shark-infested waters.  Spoilers ahead, mateys!

The pluses: independent, low-budget movie, shot realistically (on video?) with natural light and no CGI, real sharks, actors actually bobbing about in the ocean and not in a shark cage or indoor tanks.

The rest of it:  the actors, unknowns, are pretty bad, although in their defense they weren't given much to work with.  When Daniel and Susan resurface and find the tour boat missing, they take it too calmly - it isn't realistic.  I think there would be some immediate panic, then subsiding to calm/shock.  Their physical condition didn't deteriorate as the hours passed: even though they were in tropical waters, hypothermia will set in after prolonged exposure, not to mention dehydration and salt sores.  Once Daniel was bitten by the shark, I don't think the other sharks would have left him alone to bleed out overnight - I think they would have gone after him, and Susan too, what with all the blood floating about.  And I found Susan's death unsatisfying: I can see how she would just give up but she was wearing a wetsuit and would have been far too buoyant to slip beneath the surface to drown, especially since she'd dropped her dive weights.

The whole thing was just unsatisfying.  I've read reviews saying that people expecting Jaws will be disappointed, that Open Water is more about fear and dread and hopelessness.  Which would have been fine if  any of that had been conveyed by the actors.  Instead, this mercifully brief movie is boring, basically amounting to watching two unlikable characters tread water for 81 minutes.  Ugh.

P.S.  I did manage to get Mr. Mouse to watch it with me and he gets points for calling: (1) no survivors, (2) Daniel dying first; and (3) the camera being found.

Next up (I think): Nadja.

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