Open Water (2004) 
Directed by: Chris K
entis

Premise: A couple is stranded in shark-infested waters when their diving boat leaves them in the middle of the ocean.

What Works: This is a very unsettling film and has the intensity of the opening scene of Jaws. The married couple (Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis) are well-developed characters that the audience is able to latch onto and really care about and there is a great authenticity to their performances as they cope with the situation. The film nicely slides from being sort of humorous as the couple assumes that the boat will come back, to much darker and foreboding as the plight of the couple becomes grimmer and grimmer.

What Doesn't: The film was shot on digital videotape and as a result some parts of it look rather grainy or fuzzy when it is projected onto a theater screen. Although this look helps the film's tone, it can be a little distracting.

Bottom Line: Open Water is an example of low budget filmmaking using its minimal resources to its advantage. It is one of the most frightening films seen in years and will likely make even seasoned horror fans squirm in their seats.

Trivia: When the boat captain finds their belongings he looks at their diving tags. The full names of the characters are Susan Watkins and Daniel Kintner. This seems like an intentional homage to the first two victims from Jaws.

 

Episode: #16 (August 29, 2004)