I am very disappointed of people's comments about this movie. Some even compare it with JAWS, which makes no sense, because apart from the fact that both have sharks involved in each story, they are totally different movies. Open Water is a thriller while Jaws is a monster movie -not really horror as many affirm- which attempts to create **** to me it fails. I definitely like Open Water much more than Jaws. Jaws was perhaps the first blockbuster. The idea was appealing and with the aid of a mechanical shark that we only see once, creates a feeling of danger. Nonetheless, the story itself is weak, and silly. The performances are feeble. Nobody cares about the characters for they are fake. I remember when I was a child I liked Jaws but recently I watched again and almost felt asleep. There were movies great movies that also involved animals (i.e The Birds) so Jaws has no excuse. Open Water, on the other side, is pure realism! I am an Australian, thus, I always hear stories about sharks. In fact, I know people who continually dive along the Great Barrier Reef. None of them believe the JAWS is a smart movie while they agree that Open Water shows some of the dangers that they as professional divers face in real life. The smallest mistake can change their lives.
Moreover, Open Water, goes beyond the issue of sharks. The presence of sharks is indeed an important element of the movie but the core of this film is the situation itself. It is therefore, not a shark movie! This film explores the feelings of those involved in the story and smartly takes us to their world. We see when, how, and why such feelings develop. We feel for them, understand them, and wish we had the ways to help them. Furthermore, the sporadic jokes that the characters make to each other when the the situation becomes clear, and when the tangible threat is perceived, are not stupid; on the opposite, it adds realism. Many of us, under very stressful, desperate, hopeless, and/or frightening, circumstances tend to joke about them; it is a way to cheer us up and distract from those negative feelings; same there. I also love the scene when Daniel starts screaming, what a touching moment! Great performance. It was a totally believable: a desperate yell! There was frustration, despair, anger, sorrow, anguish, desolation; all those feelings together in that particular scene. Powerful!
Since the beginning when they are in bed and she is naked, and they are just chatting. It happens to be a very smart scene, for it actually helps to create a feeling of reality and it succeeds; hat is why I don't get why people have issues with that scene. Aren't we naked on a daily basis?. If some didn't understand certain moments or the ending, they may need to watch the movie again and more carefully. If they still don't find the answer,...well, it doesn't mean it is not there, for to many of us the movie is as clear as crystal. Finally, If you haven't watched it, please do it, and take into account what I say, so open your mind to the experience...I don't think you will regret **** if you do, at least you gave it a go.
It's a wonderful film that draws its strength from its amateur side. Although it has a very early image and technique, the tension of the film increases due to the fact that it fits the story it tells. Although it is a very simple subject, dropping into the middle of the sea is a fear that has once occurred to everyone who travels by ship. I congratulate the team for successfully describing this fear and its consequences.
When it comes to shark movies the first thing you expect is watching tons of helpless people get eaten by these underwater predators. Open Water is more thoughtful than that. It's a story about two people being stranded out in the ocean. It's thrills and chills are more psychological than visual.
It plays off of your paranoia of what you can't see, just as much as what you can. With the use of real life sharks, it's hard to not get freaked out. There's a sense of realism to the film that adds to the tension. Despite what appears to be a pretty low budget, there are plenty of gorgeous ocean shots and aquatic wildlife on display. Writer and director Chris Kentis knows how to shoot a scene. His handling of these, again, completely real sharks around his actors is a stunning feat. Even more stunning are the actor's ability to keep calm and deliver excellent performances around them.
There's a nice drama element to the film as well. Typical marital issues are what causes the characters to go on this diving trip in the first place, and they pop up here and there to add a further sense of realism to the movie. The fact that this is all (loosely) based on true events makes the situation all the more harrowing to watch.
Obviously this isn't the most traditionally exciting film due to it's desire to be as realistic as possible. It ditches the bloodthirsty monster tone of other shark flicks in order to give a more accurate depiction of shark behavior. At it's core this is really one of those survival films. There's not always a lot happening and we do get plenty of scenes of the two characters just floating and talking. As a result this isn't for everybody. For those who like realism though, this is an excellent choice.
I, for one, see the dedication to being as believable as possible as giving Open Water an edge. Yes, it's not as bloodthirsty, but it's certainly more tense than every other shark movie I've seen. Basically, if you're looking for blood and guts then this isn't for you. However if you like a well-paced and genuinely effective thriller/survival story this is the shark movie for you. Especially is you have an appreciation for realism and the extra added gut punch "based on true event" films can have.