The Reef (2010)

Written and directed by Andrew Traucki. Starring Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering and Kieran Darcy-Smith.

Plot: a sailing trip turns into a nightmare for a small group of friends when their boat capsizes and a great white shark begins to stalk them.

Luke (Walshe-Howling) delivers boats to people. We didn’t know that people actually drove boats to buyers, but apparently it’s a thing that happens. Anyway, Luke delivers boats and this go round, he’s delivering a yacht to Indonesia. He invites his old friend Matt (Grantley) to come along. Matt agrees and brings his girlfriend, Suzie (Pickering), and his sister, Kate (Naylor), as well. Kate has a romantic history with Luke, of course, so that’s a bit of a dramatic subplot. The fifth member of the party is Warren (Darcy-Smith), a fellow sailor and friend of Luke’s.

On the second day, the boat capsizes and the five of them are stranded miles and miles from land. Luke decides it’s best to swim for it (bad idea), while Warren, who knows what’s in the water, believes it’s best to hang out on top of the capsized boat (also a bad idea, damn). The other three take awhile to decide which man to follow. Then, the swimming starts. As does the death.

Since this is based on a true story, you can find out almost everything that’s gonna happen without ever watching the movie. It’s a sad ass story, too. The film, I don’t think, was quite sad enough. The story is just so awful. For example, in real life, one of the ones who died early on had their leg bitten off first. They then thought about the most intelligent and compassionate they could do, and ultimately decided to swim away, luring the shark far from their friends. This worked – somewhat – and the legless person was eaten by the shark while the others moved closer to land. This exact thing does not happen in the movie. Kind of pissed that it didn’t. I think that would have elevated the story.

It was realistic though. They didn’t embellish what a shark would and wouldn’t actually do. The acting was excellent, too. And to be honest, I jumped once. I’m not proud of that, but the director had a fish sneak into the shot and it freaked me out.

My score: 65. DJ’s score: 70.


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