DARK TIDE (2012) Reviews and overview

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Dark Tide is a 2012-released action drama film about a female diver who reluctantly agrees to take a millionaire on a shark dive with no cage.

Directed by John Stockwell (Armed Response; In the Blood; Turistas; Into the Blue) from a screenplay co-written by Amy Sorlie and Ronnie Christensen, based on Sorlie’s story.



Kate (Halle Berry) is a shark expert whose business has been failing since a shark attack killed a fellow diver under her command. Once dubbed “the shark whisperer,” Kate is haunted by the memory of the attack and unable to get back into the water.


With bills piling up and the bank about to foreclose on Kate’s boat, Kate’s ex-boyfriend Jeff (Olivier Martinez) presents her with a lucrative opportunity: lead a thrill-seeking millionaire businessman on a dangerous shark dive…outside the cage. Battling her self-doubts and fear, Kate accepts the proposal — and sets a course for the world’s deadliest feeding ground: Shark Alley…


“While it’s always interesting to find a production that teases one direction before heading off into another, it’s deflating to find this picture left with nothing much to do and nearly two hours to do it. A bewildering bore, Dark Tide imagines itself a cross between Jaws and a Bergman film, pitting uncharismatic actors against a dreary script that doesn’t go anywhere.” Blu-ray.com

“A couple of stunning shots aside, Dark Tide is just a below-average shark flick with very few thrills, that crawls along at a tedious pace, and disappoints with lifeless execution, shallow characters, and unexpectedly sub-par acting by its otherwise solid cast.” CineMarvellous!

“At ten minutes shy of two hours with barely anything resembling a plot, only a few sporadic moments of generic underwater and sinking ship action, and only the flimsiest of character development, there’s not much here to keep you awake unless you’re a huge fan of underwater nature photography or can get your rocks off from the few scenes of Halle Berry in a bikini.” Dread Central

“A soap opera with shark attacks, pic contains a few alarming sequences but loses its grip on its material — and the viewer — in a swirling vortex of visual confusion. Helmer John Stockwell sometimes seems unsure whether he’s making a wildlife film or one featuring Halle Berry in her bikini, and the upshot is clear sailing to home vid.” Variety

“There’s barely any story here, to begin with, and that certainly doesn’t help a film that runs nearly two hours. The plot never begins to develop beyond trying to swim with sharks, turning this into a really long sit […] you could go off and take a good 10-20 minute break at any time during the film, come back and find that still nothing has happened that affects the story in any way.” We Got This Covered


Cast and characters (in credits order):

Halle Berry … Kate
Olivier Martinez … Jeff
Sizwe Msutu … Themba
Mark Elderkin … Tommy
Thoko Ntshinga … Zukie
Henrik Vos … German Man
Judith Kronenberg-Sarembock … German Woman
Wayne Harrison … English Dad
Josef Du Plessis … English Boy
Jessica Taylor … English Mum
Ralph Brown … Brady
Luke Tyler … Luke
P.J. Van Der Walt … Poacher (as PJ Van Der Walt)
Gary Jacobie … Poacher
Eugene Seloca … Poacher (as Eugene Selooa)
Christian Zuidema … Anti Poaching Officer (as Chris Zuidema)

Filming locations:

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Seal Island, False Bay, South Africa
Exterior Tank, Paddock Lot, Backlot, Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England (underwater scenes)

Filming dates:

July 2010

Technical details:

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

Fun facts:

Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez met and fell in love on the set of this film, eventually getting engaged and marrying in 2013. They had a son but announced they were divorcing in 2015.

The film had a reported $25 million budget but grossed less than $500,000 at the box office.

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