RED WATER (2003) Reviews of shark and gangsters flick

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‘Fear strikes where you least expect it’

Red Water is a 2003 American action-horror film in which a bull shark attacks gas rig workers and gangsters.

Directed by Charles Robert Carner from a screenplay co-written by executive producer J.D. Feigelson (Dark Night of the Scarecrow) and Chris Mack. The New Line Television-Sony Pictures Television production stars Lou Diamond Phillips, Kristy Swanson, Coolio and Jaimz Woolvett.


Nobody knows what or who is leaving behind mangled remains on the banks of a Louisiana river until it is revealed that there is one breed of shark that can live in freshwater a giant carnivore, stalking the living under the surface.

Now, as workers search the river for a source of natural gas, and gangsters are hunting a buried treasure, it is up to a small group of hunters to find and destroy the murderous beast, bent on killing anything that leaves the shore…


“Oh, yes. If you make it through Red Water, you’ll be rewarded – rewarded? – with one of the more eye-opening shark death scenes ever to grace the screen. Let’s just say that….it involves the drill on the oil-rig, and the heretofore undocumented ability of the bull shark to propel itself vertically out of the water.” And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

” …Carner was put in the unenviable position of trying to make something old seem new again, and the script […] seems confused whether it wants to be a rogue shark or action movie. Simply changing the setting to freshwater doesn’t really make the repeated use of a half-submerged shark trailing after some forlorn swimmer particularly exciting.” Digitally Obsessed!

“The shark is brought to life in the usual fashion: there’s an animatronic shark, documentary footage, and a smattering of CGI shots that are all too obvious. The mechanical fish is a good one and was apparently the first one ever that could swim freely. For a low-budget TV movie, it’s a surprisingly decent effort in that respect. Otherwise, the film is a bit of a bore.” Oh, the Horror!

“Filled with a cast of B-graders and playing like the TV movie it is; this is still acceptable viewing with okay shark attacks (using mostly iffy CGI effects) and a mildly diverting plot – but the shark is really secondary to the treasure hunting baddies, there’s a heavy-handed environmental message in the script and the finale is quite noisy and weak.” The Video Graveyard

“When the shark is front and center, Red Water is a watchable effort.  Although the shark attacks are few and far between, the shark effects themselves are pretty good and Carner knows how to set up a severed hand gag with the best of them.  Sadly, the stuff on dry land is interminable.” The Video Vacuum

“It’s a lean, well-made thriller, part monster movie/ part heist, that avoids many of the clichés such as long treks through forests or time spent away from the water to pad things out that you often see in shark movies and it’s refreshingly down to earth in its approach to the shark.” What the Craggus Saw

Red Water is actually an okay enough film but there’s a story here that just happens to have a shark involved on the side. The random cast are fun to watch but there’s better, more fun shark films out there.” Wight Blood

Choice dialogue:

“Pull this one, it plays Jingle Bells.”

“Smart, ballsy, devious. You got all the trimmings, don’t you baby?”

Cast and characters:

Lou Diamond Phillips … John Sanders
Kristy Swanson … Doctor Kelli Raymond
Coolio … Ice
Jaimz Woolvett … Jerry Collins
Rob Boltin … Emery Brousard
Langley Kirkwood … Brett van Ryan
Dennis Haskins … Captain Dale Landry
Gideon Emery … Gene Bradley
Charles Dumas … Hank Ellis
Clive Scott … Grandpa Gautreau
Nicholas Andrews … André Gautreau
Hilton Myburgh … Vidrine
Garth Collins … Lacombe, Oil Rig Worker
Tumisho Masha … Rick (as Tumisho K. Masha)
Shirley Davidson … Tricia

Filming locations:

South Africa

92 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1
Audio: Stereo


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