Estelle Lau

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Open Water Review


OK
A soggy thriller that fails to generate more than moderate tension via its ugly DV camera work and hopelessly linear scripting, Chris Kentis' Open Water must have swam much better on paper than it does on screen. The story of two scuba divers who are accidentally abandoned in the middle of the ocean and forced to combat exhaustion, dehydration, and the frightening creatures living (and feeding) under the sea, it's a horror story designed for the reality TV generation - dramatically static, overly gimmicky, and determined to provide a false veneer of you-are-there realism. Those still wracked by a Jaws-inspired aversion to the ocean will surely find a few new reasons to avoid the Great Below, but Kentis' film is more teasing than terrifying, failing to achieve the nerve-wracking suspense that his concept (and the movie's buzz) suggests.

And that's an opportunity missed, since the story - advertised as "based on true events" - holds the potential for a primal battle between man and nature. Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) are a workaholic couple taking time out of their busy lives to vacation in the Bahamas, setting aside their ever-present cell phones and laptops for drinks on the beach and shopping excursions to the local towns. Since both are experienced divers, they head out on a routine voyage to a coral reef, where they're given a half hour to explore the wonders of the deep. When they rise to the surface, however, they discover that their boat is missing; as a result of an incorrect head count, their fellow divers have mistakenly departed without them. Left to fend for themselves against the ocean's hungry indigenous creatures, they begin to drift out into the middle of nowhere and, naturally, into the center of danger.

Continue reading: Open Water Review

OPEN WATER Review


Good

How's this for a math problem? A couple goes on a scuba-diving excursion on a boat filled with 18 other enthusiastic divers and a small crew. A crew member is responsible for ticking off on his clipboard divers who have returned from their dive.

One diver forgets his mask and remains on board. One tick. Another diver has trouble equalizing and returns early. Her partner comes along. Two more ticks makes three. The first diver asks if he can borrow a mask, but the crew member won't let him dive without a buddy, so the first and third divers go back in the water.

Here's the problem. The crew member has three ticks on his sheet, and only one diver remains in the boat. As the divers come back up, one by one, the ticks increase until 18 people are on the boat and 20 ticks are on the sheet.

Continue reading: OPEN WATER Review

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Estelle Lau Movies

Open Water Movie Review

Open Water Movie Review

A soggy thriller that fails to generate more than moderate tension via its ugly DV...

OPEN WATER Movie Review

OPEN WATER Movie Review

How's this for a math problem? A couple goes on a scuba-diving excursion on a...

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