Title: The Reef
Play time: 1h 34min
Director: Andrew Traucki
Starring: Kieran Darcy-Smith, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering, Zoe Naylor, Damian Walsh-Howling
Stalked by Flesh Eating Sharks in The Reef (2010)
Screened at the 2011 Fantasia Film Festival, in Andrew Traucki’s mildly entertaining The Reef, a group of Aussies stranded on a capsized sailboat drifting out to sea decide to swim for land, and are stalked by a large shark that tries to eat them. Occasionally it succeeds. The end.
A Great Setup
I just read Laurence Gonzalez’s Deep Survival, which is all about decision making in life-threatening situations, The Reef‘s set-up fascinated me. Staying on the capsized sailboat means drifting farther and farther from land while praying a plane or ship chances upon you; swimming for an island well out of sight seems equally crazy, especially in the face of a dire warning from a veteran fisherman in the party.
The Reef Lacks Elements of Survival Horror
(“I’m not getting in that water.”) While the characters hash this out, punctuated by terrifically suspenseful interludes of diving into the boat’s submerged cabin for supplies, the movie is riveting. When it ventures into the open sea, it’s less so, mostly because there are a limited number of ways to depict the threat of a shark attack — a splash here, a fin there, an underwater glimpse, cue screaming, etc. Lacking the compelling drama and survival horror kick of its cousin Open Water, The Reef is brisk and reasonably involving, but pretty middling, too.