Trying to escape from busy schedules Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) book themselves a vacation in the Caribbean. They spend time relaxing on the beach and try to recover from the stress and strain of careers that have left them worn out. A few days in to the holiday they book a boat trip to go scuba diving in the open sea. While enjoying the experience of exploring the depths, there is confusion on board their boat as to who entered the water and who returned. The headcount is incorrect and the crew, believing that everyone is back on board, leave. Susan and Daniel, both certified divers, return to the surface to find the boat gone. Their bewilderment turns to anger and finally fear as they realise that they have been left behind in the middle of the ocean…
The movie is inspired by the true story of two divers who were left behind off the coast of Australia and the way in which Open Water is filmed gives it a documentary feel to it. Made on a very small budget the camera work is sometimes shaky and even fuzzy and often zooms in close to the characters or insignificant items. This style does help to create a certain reality.
The movie posters will have you believe that watching Open Water will be a terrifying experience and some reviews back this up. The panic and fear that anyone would feel if they found themselves in the same terrible predicament is well captured but while it is tense at times it is far from scary, let alone terrifying. When sharks first appear in the water near the couple things do get tense but it is difficult to keep things interesting when most of the movie follows the two characters bobbing up and down in the water. In any event because the movie is based on truth I’m not even sure that it should be interesting, thrilling or entertaining and when I watched it I was left cold.
The two main characters, Susan and Daniel are played by Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis. They portray the anger, panic and fear of the characters very well and it is easy to sympathise with them from the comfort of the warm cinema! One scene has the two of them arguing over whose fault it was and the scene is funny as the need to blame someone is so real. Susan has the last word when she says that she had wanted to go skiing!
Bottom Line: Not terrifying as advertised and an hour long documentary would have suited the story better.