Film: Open Water

Now this is a hard film to watch. Open Water (2003) is an unnerving real-life horror film about an idyllic vacation gone bad. Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis star as a young couple who escape the bustle of their frantic lives for some R&R in the Caribbean. Their sketchy relationship is about to undergo the extreme test, though, when a scuba diving excursion out in the Atlantic Ocean goes horribly, horribly wrong.

Open Water is a shoestring production, but that actually works in the film’s favor. The minimalist effects, unobtrusive-to-nonexistent music,  and celebrity-free cast contribute to an utterly realistic feel, which makes the scenario — evidently based on a true story — all the more realistic. The main performers, particularly Ryan, are convincing, and the situations they’re put through vary from gut-wrenchingly suspenseful to flat-out horrifying. A deeply upsetting film that stays in the mind long after it’s over.

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