Open Water (3/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

A yuppie married couple, Susan (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel (Daniel Travis) go scuba diving in the open ocean on a boat full of scuba divers. When they surface, the boat’s gone and they’re stranded alone in the ocean. They float, encounter sharks, float, encounter jellyfish, float, encounter more sharks…zzzzzz.

Although only 79 minutes long, it flunked the watch test. This is mostly cinematography of people floating in the ocean. What generally makes a suspense movie tense is the music. Just as an example, without John Williams’ music, Jaws (1975) wouldn’t have had nearly the impact. With good, tension-inducing music, this film could have been a real nail-biter. Unfortunately, without such music, the film is a bore.

For me the only memorable scene in the movie shows Susan lying in bed totally naked. The old saw of many actresses is that they will only do nude scenes that are “essential to the story.” The only thing to which this nude scene might have been essential was the box office. Clearly, the scene would have played no differently had she been under the covers and we had seen nothing but her head and neck. But who’s complaining?

August 2, 2004

The End