OPEN WATER (2003) Reviews and overview

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‘Who will save you?’

Open Water is a 2003 American survival horror feature film written and directed by Chris Kentis. The Plunge Pictures production stars Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis and Saul Stein.


Daniel (Daniel Travis) and Susan (Blanchard Ryan) embark on a tropical vacation with their scuba-diving certifications in tow. During a group dive, the two separate themselves from the others to dive a little deeper. An incorrect head-count suggests the entire group has returned, so the boat departs.

When the pair surface, they make out a vessel in the distance, but it does not immediately occur to them that they have been left behind. With sharks lurking beneath, their survival chances get less and less…


“The bland ordinariness of the characters, the flat colors and jerky rhythms of digital cinematography and the constriction of the drama give the picture some impact, but not much resonance. It pulls you in and then pushes you away…” The New York Times

“Kentis never lets up on the tension. You can feel the water, stretching against an unsheltering sky, seep into your bones. The ending — a more devastating surprise than The Village could manage — caps eighty sweat-job minutes of imaginative, jolting suspense.” Rolling Stone

“The brave ending may have you wondering why you spent time with these people, and the lack of much personality may have you wondering that long before the denouement, but there’s no denying the suspense of the central, shark-filled idea, and the success of its latter stages.” The Spinning Image

Cast and characters:

  • Blanchard Ryan … Susan Watkins
  • Daniel Travis … Daniel Kintner
  • Saul Stein … Seth
  • Michael E. Williamson … Davis (as Michael Williamson)
  • Cristina Zenato … Linda (as Cristina Zenaro)
  • John Charles … Junior (as Jon Charles)
  • Estelle Lau … Estelle

Technical details:

79 minutes | 1.85: 1 | DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Film Facts:

The original title was Blue Desert

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