When it comes the predators found in the aquatic world, there’s a few that instill such fear in people as the Great White, though honestly an Orca or Giant Squid (Humboldt Squid), and most horror flicks use the Great White as its prime adversary, likely due to Steven Spielberg’s Jaws [1975]. The beast has barely changed, perhaps only reduced in size, and sadly for current and future filmmakers there isn’t many options for them to explore, Open Water [2003] examined how minuscule humans are in the vastness of the ocean, and fragile to swarming sharks. However, the struggle to expand is more difficult 47 Meters Down [2016] and The Shallows [2016] gave small blips on the radar, overall, there’re many absurd creations 5-Headed Shark Attack [2017] or even more awful 90210 Shark Attack [2014]. This particular movie hints to survivability of the people, especially those keeping their emotions in check and conserving their physical and mental energy, thanks to screenwriter Michael Boughen (Dying Breed [2008]) and making his feature film debut Martin Wilson.

Before diving to the main story, one needs to note that this film follows two distant patterns first it’s primarily a Drama, Thriller and then Horror, all except for a small snippet at the start, and secondly, the limited time that the sharks are the focal point, which is given to an enormous amount of dialogue, face it viewers came for the sharks. A young romantic couple swimming in a private cove just a few feet from their vessel, is a clear warning for every horror fan, and with some beautiful cinematography and a drone shot/CGI gives a nice thrill. The story transitions to another couple Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko), former marine biologist and a survivor of a shark attack, has a poor seaplane business with his girlfriend Kaz (Katrina Bowden (Tucker and Dale vs Evil [2010])), but a sudden and predictable plot sequence occurs to lead us further along in the first act. A well-off financial analyst Joji (Tim Kano) and his wife Michelle (Kimie Tsukakoshi), who appears as someone heavily controlled; book a trip with their service; also accompanying them is Charlie’s friend and chef Benny (Te Kohe Tuhaka). The reason for the trip becomes more understood quickly, but there’s some racial tension between the characters of Benny and Joji, over the niceties afforded to Michelle. They fly to a private area beach where one learns more about Michelle’s family, namely her father who survived both a shipwreck and adrift at sea with sharks, while the married couple stroll the coast, a shocking discovery is made concerning a heavily chewed corpse. After an abrupt decision to search for a missing woman Tracy (Tatjana Marjanovic (Shelter in Place [2020])) alluded by a conveniently placed image still showing on a working smartphone that was in the ocean (hmm… okay). A few more likely set pieces and a shark attacking/sinking one seaplane; honestly, it appears as a homage to Jaws 2 [1978] which involved the helicopter scene. The second and into the third act is primarily their surviving on an inflatable lifeboat, while there’s a lot of dialogue, trying to create suspense it struggles to keep the tension, this no Alfred Hathcock’s Lifeboat [1944]. The emotionally charges work semi-well, but the sharks, hunting packs, appear to be curious about the floating vessel, never too intelligent to hit or bite it. Nevertheless, that final 15-minutes contains a ridiculous resuscitation underwater, and conclusion which involves survivors sitting in silence and with very upbeat tropical music.

Wilson does deliver a well-polished visual production, showing the vastness of the ocean and how claustrophobia, their actually word, is in the confines of the raft, and does work to show a hint of salvation, while the situation becomes more dire. However, the dialogue lacks in any true motivation or character exploration and the sharks’ appearance are far too absent to represent a solid horror movie. Although there’s like one primary reason for it, which comes from budgetary concerns, hence affecting the attacks to murky depths, and generally off-screen kills, in realty a person cannot out-swim a shark. Lastly, as most shark enthusiasts know the beast is truly a silent deadly predator, that doesn’t make any vocal sounds, namely a roar, this is 99% true, except with the Draughtsboard Shark (Shores of New Zealand) inflating itself similar to a puffer fish, and near the surface emits a sound equivalent to a dog bark, otherwise the answer continues to be a resounding no sound emittance.

In the end, the storyline contains to many convenient jumps in logic as to cover plot holes, and the characters never develop further, rather staying very thin, a saving grace is the cinematography and a fair amount of CGI with a serious dose of suspension of disbelief, then a one-time viewing of this movie distributed by RLJE Films might interest you.

TAGLINE: Take your final breath.


IMDb Rating: 4.1/10

Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10