"Open Water" plays like somebody's bad vacation video from the eighties, but it's no joke: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were a real life couple left behind in 1998 by the Outer Edge Dive Company during a scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef. If you're not a fan of diving, sharks, or water, "Open Water" isn't going to change your mind.
Daniel Kintner (Daniel Travis) and Susan Watkins (Blanchard Ryan) have decided to take a vacation to get away from their highly stressful day jobs. When out on their dive, they separate and the crew fails to accurately take a headcount due to one diver who forgot his equipment. When Daniel and Susan surface, they belatedly realize that nobody is coming back for them.
That's it. That's the whole film. Two people, with footage taken by a grainy camera, who can do nothing but float in the wide ocean. Occasionally they dive below to see more. But other than those desperate forays, this is a stage play that takes place between two people on open water. They go through the five stages of grief: Denying they've been forgotten, angry at each other for going on the trip, reconciling, giving up hope, and then finally accepting their fate. Helping them along the way are fish, jellyfish, and sharks. Lots and lots of sharks.
Because "Open Water" is based on true events, there's no happy ending and barely a plot. It's just two people in a beautiful vacation destination in open sight of ship that can't see them, abandoned by a support structure they took for granted.
There's one point the film left out. Fishermen found a diver's slate that read:
[Mo]nday Jan 26; 1998 08am. To anyone [who] can help us: We have been abandoned on A[gin]court Reef by MV Outer Edge 25 Jan 98 3pm. Please help us [come] to rescue us before we die. Help!!!
This film will haunt your most beautiful beachside fantasies.
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