THE REEF (2010) Reviews and overview

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‘Pray that you drown first’

The Reef is a 2010 Australian action horror film about a great white shark that hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef.

Written and directed by Andrew Traucki (The Reef: Stalked; Black Water: Abyss; The Jungle; The ABCs of Death G is for Gravity; Black Water). Produced by Michael Robertson, Tiare Tomaszewski and Andrew Traucki.


The movie stars Damian Walshe-Howling, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering, Zoe Naylor, Kieran Darcy-Smith and Mark Simpson.


“Based on a true story, like almost any freakishly big shark/crocodile/bear whatever supposedly has been these last few years […] The Reef sticks out and with its seamless mix of CG and authentic footage, top-notch acting, identifiable values at stake and a powerful survival horror in the middle of the sea story at the core…” Cinezilla

” …the use of the shark footage means that any potential attack scenes are necessarily edited to show a lot of quick cuts and juxtaposed bodies, creating the illusion that a real shark is aiming for a real person […] at the end of the day, it didn’t quite manage to do enough to edge ahead although it did admirably place itself right beside that movie as an interesting, innovative, shark tale.” Flick Feast

“When you make a monster movie there are two ways to deal with it. You can hold back the monster ala Jaws or if you’re confident enough about your creature you can shove it in our faces ala The Thing. Here the filmmakers have neither the sense to adopt the former approach nor the talent to pull off the latter.” The Movie Waffler

” …it’s just a little bit too familiar in the wake of Open Water. It’s also very predictable because the film makes it clear early on who the main characters are, so you know they’ll be the last ones standing (er, swimming). But the performances are great from all involved […] though they hit the usual beats where they begin to bicker at each other, they remain likeable enough.” Oh, the Horror!

“Once this thing gets going, it’s a roller-coaster ride. What works well with this story is that it presents a plausible scenario with virtually no solution. We couldn’t do better than these guys to save our lives. It’s a desperate situation that gets increasingly lethal. As well-made as it is, sadly, The Reef fails to stand out.” Tales of Terror

The Reef succeeds where 90% of horror movies fail by completely cutting off our heroes from all escape routes. They can’t run, or at the very least swim very fast […] It’s this sheer, palpable, horrifying inevitability that catapults The Reef into the realm of excellent horror movies. It’s not without its share of flaws, most of them inherent to the genre, but The Reef deserves to be seen.” Yell!


Quotable dialogue:

Warren [Kieran Darcy-Smith}: “You look like a seal in that. Sharks love seals.”

Cast and characters:

Damian Walshe-Howling … Luke
Gyton Grantley … Matt
Adrienne Pickering … Suzie
Zoe Naylor … Kate
Kieran Darcy-Smith … Warren
Mark Simpson … Shane

Filming locations:

Queensland, Australia

Technical details:

94 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1


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