Dead In The Water Movie Review

It's really tempting the Hollywood fates to title your indie film Dead in the Water, and judging from the fact that I'd never heard of this movie before it's DVD release, I'd say it was a bad move.

Three teens take an ill-fated boat trip in a story that somehow feels awfully familiar (think A Simple Plan meets The Talented Mr. Ripley), which is what happens when you get three guys and a girl on a boat off the coast of Rio. Dominique Swain plays the femme fatale (has she ever been anything else?) who tempts not only her boyfriend, but his best friend and the Brazilian son of a business partner to her dad. The swordfight turns ugly when boyfriend (Scott Bairstow) tosses the Brazilian (Sebastian DeVicente) into the ocean with nothing but a life preserver. To teach him a lesson, the boyfriend zooms off out of sight... but when they return to pick him up, he's gone -- apparently drowned.

What follows is a familiar game of "How do we get away with this?" with the girl at the center of innumerable plans that keep her out of trouble while setting up the other two (or worse, killing them off). If you've seen A Simple Plan you can imagine how well this all turns out for all the parties involved.

The film is well-made and reasonably well-acted, but the confines of that little boat get a little tiresome after 90 minutes. As well, the desperation makes sense, but the kids turn a little too easily to murder as their "only option" for getting out of the jam. It's easy to figure out the ending well in advance -- although an alternate ending (unfortunately without sound) provided on the DVD hints at something a little different.

Not a bad time, but not a great movie. It hits and misses, but at least it floats.


Dead In The Water Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 2001


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