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OPEN WATER

Two scuba divers trying to get their wobbly marriage back on course suffer a setback when the tour boat that brought them to a remote Caribbean island sails away without them. That means they'll soon be swimming with sharks.

CAST: Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein, Estelle Lau

WRITER/DIRECTOR: Chris Kentis

“Hair-raising! Nerve-frying! Gut-wrenching! ‘Open Water’ is the must-see movie event that will make August memorable... It is electrifying...if you don’t think a simple scuba dive in a placid Caribbean coral reef is a pursuit for the insane, you will change your mind after ‘Open Water’...Every aspect of this nightmare is captured as realistically as breathing by Mr. Kentis, while his screenplay miraculously finds the time to develop character and build rapport between the actors and the audience. You won’t know Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis going in, but you will crave much more of them both by the time this momentous movie ends. To all and sundry, a moment of genuflection, please—for one of the most galvanizing and unforgettable films of the year. ” --Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"‘Open Water’ is the season's most gripping thriller, thanks to its single-minded vision and the keenly focused acting of Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis...It also helps to know the movie is based on a reconstruction of actual events, and that it was filmed in real ocean waters -- with real sharks...It's a bone-chilling plunge into no-holds-barred storytelling.” –David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor

“Rarely, but sometimes, a movie can have an actual physical effect on you. It gets under your defenses and sidesteps the ‘it's only a movie’ reflex and creates a visceral feeling that might as well be real. ‘Open Water’ had that effect on me...I'm not afraid of water and don't spend much time thinking about sharks, but the prospect of being lost, of being forgotten about, awakens emotions from deep in childhood...The movie is about what a slender thread supports our conviction that our lives have importance and make sense. We need that conviction in order to live at all, and when it is irreversibly taken away from us, what a terrible fate to be left alive to know it.” –Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“‘Open Water’ is without doubt one of the scariest, creepiest, gut-churningly unsettling pictures to come along in ages...Made with exacting economy -- the big moments are all earned, and the small moments are etched with telling detail – ‘Open Water’ is so deeply terrifying, so primal in its depiction of man at the mercy of nature, that watching it shakes you to the core.” –Stephen Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

“‘Open Water’ is open season on an audience's nerves... from the first bite -- on Susan's leg (ouch!) -- Kentis never lets up on the tension. You can feel the water, stretching against an unsheltering sky, seep into your bones. The ending -- a more devastating surprise than ‘The Village’ could manage -- caps eighty sweat-job minutes of imaginative, jolting suspense.” –Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Yuck. Just yuck. And ewww. And yuck. I'm sorry, but that's entertainment?...It is the ordinariness of the set-up and the determined lack of flash that makes ‘Open Water’ so upsetting and, finally, so ugly...I suppose it is good to be reminded that, unlike in the movies, not everyone who gets into sticky situations gets out of them. Something to contemplate as we go about planning our summer vacations. Oh, yeah: Yuck.” –David Edelstein, Slate

"Adrenaline addicts will be more than well-served by the movie, whose nerve-jangling suspense and low-tech realism outpace even ‘Jaws’ for all-out cinematic terror at sea...a power far more terrifying and haunting than that of the anthropomorphic projections of Steven Spielberg...Using such old-fashioned tools as superior writing and urgent, pulse-quickening edits -- and without a single computerized effect, camera trick or scene of gratuitous gore -- the filmmakers plunge the audience directly into the couple's plight.” --Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“This raw, digitally shot mock-documentary has a you-are-there quality so intense that watching it verges on an interactive experience...The breath-catching terror of the long shot in which we see Daniel and Susan bobbing forlornly in the midst of a boundless expanse of water is rivaled only by the moment the first shark's fin breaks the skin of the ocean...while immersed in the horror of their plight, you might forget to breathe.” –Megan Lehmann, The New York Post

"You may not be able to get past the low-rent cinematography, writing, and performances, or you may simply like a little more narrative meat on your movie's bones. For others, it's the very simplicity that's the hook -- the way the film uses our current language of ‘realism’ to lull us into suspending disbelief...As fumbling and limited as it is, ‘Open Water’ succeeds: The film puts you at sea level with horizon all around and makes you feel very, very vulnerable.” --Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

“Ocean, sharks and two stranded scuba divers. That's all ‘Open Water’ has, and all it needs...Writer-director Chris Kentis keeps it simple and direct, and the effect is devastating. The camera bobs in the water along with the couple, occasionally pulling back to show the horizon or a storm brewing, or peeking under to show little fish nibbling at them or sharks massing.” –Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

“The movie succeeds in mobilizing the audience's dread, but it fails to make us care as much as we should about the fate of its heroes...The bland ordinariness of the characters, the flat colors and jerky rhythms of digital cinematography and the constriction of the drama give the picture some impact, but not much resonance. It pulls you in and then pushes you away, so that you leave saying, ‘Wow, how awful’ without having experienced a full measure of awe.” –A. O. Scott, The New York Times

“‘Open Water’ is just one tedious scene stretched out to feature length. It’s terrifying all right, but only for what it says about the extents to which a couple of hungry actors and a bullish director will go to turn themselves into overnight celebrities.” –Scott Foundas, LA Weekly

“Do we need another shark thriller? Do we ever -- particularly if it is as crafty and uncompromising as ‘Open Water,’ a gut-clutching plunge into primal-fear territory that is no less unsettling for having been made on a flipper and a prayer...In lieu of special effects, Kentis achieves nerve-rattling suspense with a canny blend of silence and tight shots. To the credit of Ryan and Travis' underplaying, their characters grow in dimension as their plight becomes more dire.” –Jan Stuart, Newsday