Tense yuppies-as-shark-bait splasher movie

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 3

Product:

Open Water

OPENS SEPTEMBER 10, CERT 15, 79 MINS

Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) are work-obsessed twentysomethings whose idea of fun is to go diving in shark-infested Caribbean waters so they can take underwater snaps of fish. But when their tour boat motors away by mistake, they’re suddenly stranded in the open sea, with no fresh water, compass, or a clue what to do apart from what they remember from TV nature documentaries. Before long, the fins start closing in…

Billed foolishly by early hype as The Blair Witch Project meets Jaws, Open Water is rather less than the sum of either of those parts. Instead, it’s a serviceable suspense movie, sort of an extreme-sports update on the yuppie nightmare movies (Pacific Heights) that fuelled our sense of schadenfreude during the ’80s. The two leads do admirable acting jobs, with mostly just heads and shoulders visible above the water, their characters growing increasingly panicky, edging towards despair. Look at it another way and it’s a great metaphor for doomed relationships.