Open Water

Here is minimalist filmmaking at its purist. Open Water is one of those super low budget gems that become successful based on simply hitting the right cords. More of a thriller than a straight horror (although anyone with a fear of sharks would definitely disagree), the premise is insanely simple. A couple goes with a group on a scuba diving exhibition into the middle of the ocean, but due to an unfortunate miscalculation, they are forgotten and left to float in the middle of the vast waters all by themselves with no hope for rescue. To make matters worse, sharks have discovered them and are starting to circle. This is one of those complete and helpless scenario type of movies. Other than the brief opening, the entire movie is essentially two actors, floating in water. For some people this will be incredibly boring, but watch it with someone that has a fear of either water or sharks, and you’ll realize the power this little film can have over a person. Now, I will say that you’ll have to get over the eye roll-inducing first 15 minutes. The acting and direction is just so bad, it’s almost film school bad. But accept that it’s more of a setup to the water, and it’ll be a little easier to swallow. Because once they’re in the water, it’s magic. Although, to me what’s almost more interesting (as it is with many micro-budgeted features) is the story of how they made this film. The actors that play the couple, and the small team of filmmakers (I think there was only like 2 or 3 people) would travel far out here every single weekend, and film for a day or two, only to travel FAR back home and go to their real jobs. They did this for over a year if I remember correctly to get all the footage. In addition, those sharks in the water are real sharks. They aren’t fake, robotic, CGI, nope, those are real sharks, swimming WITH the actors. They didn’t have the budget for any other kinds of safety restraints. Realize this and it makes this movie that much more creepy. With how popular Shark Week is, it’s really no wonder why this movie clicked. Enjoy.

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