A movie review. (circa 2004)
Against my better judgment, I purchased the movie “Open Water” on Pay-per-View. Although the movie had received several good reviews, I regretted spending $3.95 from the very first frame. “Based on true events”, is how the movie is plugged. That’s rarely a good sign: most often than not, the true events get diluted with so much fiction and fantasy it’s hard separating which is which. According to the Open Water website, a Newsweek review describes the movie as “… a 79 minute triple-dog-dare”. Which is true, I suppose, if you remove the words triple and dare. . .
While vacationing on a Caribbean island, a stressed-out, marriage-challenged, yuppie couple signs up for a half-day dive-boat excursion. Somehow or another an inattentive crew member miscounts the number of divers exiting the water at the conclusion of the dive, and — bingo! The boat weighs anchor, the propeller goes ‘round and ‘round, and sure enough, our submerged yuppies get left behind in vast, shark-infested open water. One of the few positive notes about this movie are what’s missing: gory shark bites, blood trailing in the water, gnashing teeth, a daring rescue. There were even a few moments of brilliant editing. But mostly, scenes were designed to keep us guessing in a murky psychological haze, forcing our minds to tread water while filling in events that were perhaps too costly to film.
Open Water is one of those movies where the credits — unlike the sharks — suddenly appear on the screen and bite you. I replayed the last Open Water scene several times. “Was that the ending?” I wondered. “What just happened? Did I miss something?”
Unfortunately, the only thing I had missed was 79 minutes of my time and a triple-dog-dare.
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Tim says: A couple years ago I tried watching this movie a second time, but I ended up switching channels about a quarter-way through.