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Open Water (film)

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Open Water
Open Water movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChris Kentis
Written byChris Kentis
Produced byLaura Lau
Estelle Lau
Starring
CinematographyChris Kentis
Laura Lau
Edited byChris Kentis
Music byGraeme Revell
Production
companies
Lions Gate Films
Plunge Pictures LLC
Eastgate Pictures
Distributed byLions Gate Films
Release dates
  • October 26, 2003 (2003-10-26) (HIFF)
  • August 6, 2004 (2004-08-06)
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$120,000-500,000
Box office$55.5 million

Open Water is a 2003 American survival horror thriller film. The story concerns an American couple who go scuba diving while on vacation, only to find themselves stranded miles from shore in shark-filled waters when the crew of their boat accidentally leaves them behind.

The film is loosely based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who in 1998 went out with a scuba diving group, Outer Edge Dive Company, on the Great Barrier Reef, and were accidentally left behind because the dive-boat crew failed to take an accurate headcount.[1][2]

The film was financed by the husband and wife team of writer/director Chris Kentis and producer Laura Lau, both avid scuba divers.[3] It cost $120,000 to make and was bought by Lions Gate Entertainment for $2.5 million after its screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Lions Gate spent a further $8 million on distribution and marketing.[4] The film ultimately grossed $55.5 million worldwide (including $30 million from the North American box office alone).[5]

Before filming began, the Lonergans' experience was re-created for an episode of ABC's 20/20, and the segment was repeated after the release of Open Water. Clips from the film were also featured on NBC in "Troubled Waters", a Dateline episode (July 7, 2008) with Matt Lauer interviewing two professional divers, Richard Neely and Ally Dalton, who were left adrift at the Great Barrier Reef by a dive boat on May 21, 2008.[6]

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Survival film

Survival film

The survival film is a film genre in which one or more characters make an effort at physical survival. It often overlaps with other film genres. It is a subgenre of the adventure film, along with swashbuckler films, war films, and safari films. Survival films are darker than most other adventure films and usually focus their storyline on a single character, usually the protagonist. The films tend to be "located primarily in a contemporary context", so film audiences are familiar with the setting, and the characters' activities are less romanticized.

Horror film

Horror film

Horror is a film genre that seeks to elicit fear or disgust in its audience for entertainment purposes.

Thriller film

Thriller film

Thriller film, also known as suspense film or suspense thriller, is a broad film genre that evokes excitement and suspense in the audience. The suspense element found in most films' plots is particularly exploited by the filmmaker in this genre. Tension is created by delaying what the audience sees as inevitable, and is built through situations that are menacing or where escape seems impossible.

Scuba diving

Scuba diving

Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving whereby divers use breathing equipment that is completely independent of a surface air supply. The name "scuba", an acronym for "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952. Scuba divers carry their own source of breathing gas, usually compressed air, affording them greater independence and movement than surface-supplied divers, and more time underwater than free divers. Although the use of compressed air is common, a gas blend with a higher oxygen content, known as enriched air or nitrox, has become popular due to the reduced nitrogen intake during long and/or repetitive dives. Also, breathing gas diluted with helium may be used to reduce the likelihood and effects of nitrogen narcosis during deeper dives.

Disappearance of Tom and Eileen Lonergan

Disappearance of Tom and Eileen Lonergan

Thomas Joseph Lonergan and Eileen Cassidy Lonergan were a married American couple who were unintentionally abandoned in the Coral Sea off Australia's northeast coast on 25 January 1998, during a group scuba diving trip on MV Outer Edge. Their absences were not noted by the boat crew until two days later on 27 January and while search efforts resulted in the discovery of personal effects presumed to be those of the Lonergans, they did not lead to their discovery. Their whereabouts are unknown, though both are presumed dead.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, separated from the coast by a channel 100 miles wide in places and over 200 feet deep. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world in 1997. Australian World Heritage places included it in its list in 2007. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland in 2006.

Chris Kentis

Chris Kentis

Chris Kentis is an American film director and screenwriter.

Laura Lau

Laura Lau

Laura Lau is an American writer, director, and producer, perhaps best known as the writer of the films Open Water (2005) and Silent House (2011), the latter of which she co-directed with Chris Kentis.

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is an annual film festival organized by the Sundance Institute. It is the largest independent film festival in the United States, with more than 46,660 attending in 2016. It takes place each January in Park City, Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah; and at the Sundance Resort, and acts as a showcase for new work from American and international independent filmmakers. The festival consists of competitive sections for American and international dramatic and documentary films, both feature films and short films, and a group of out-of-competition sections, including NEXT, New Frontier, Spotlight, Midnight, Sundance Kids, From the Collection, Premieres, and Documentary Premieres.

Dateline NBC

Dateline NBC

Dateline NBC is a weekly American television news magazine/reality legal show that is broadcast on NBC. It was previously the network's flagship general interest news magazine, but now focuses mainly on true crime stories with only occasional editions that focus on other topics. The program airs Fridays at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Special Saturday encore editions also air at 9:00 p.m.. Two-hour feature-length editions sometimes air on any given scheduled evening, often to fill vacancies in the primetime schedule on the program's respective nights due to program cancellations. In February 2021, the program aired its first ever docuseries, "The Widower," a five-hour true crime saga about a man who married six women, four of whom died.

Matt Lauer

Matt Lauer

Matthew Todd Lauer is an American former television news personality, best known for his work with NBC News. After serving as a local news personality in New York City on WNBC, his first national exposure was as the news anchor for The Today Show from 1994 to 1997. In 1997, he was moved from the news desk to the host's chair, and served as the co-host of NBC's Today show from 1997 to 2017. He was also a frequent contributor for the evening news magazine Dateline NBC. With NBC, Lauer hosted the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and co-hosted the opening ceremonies of several Olympic Games.

Plot

Daniel Kintner and Susan Watkins are frustrated that their hard-working lives do not allow them to spend much time together. They decide to go on a scuba-diving vacation to help improve their relationship. On their second day, they join a group scuba dive. A head count is taken and the passenger total is recorded as 20. Daniel and Susan decide to separate briefly from the group while underwater. Half an hour later, the group returns to the boat; two members of the group are inadvertently counted twice, so the dive master thinks that everyone is back on board and the boat leaves the site. However, Daniel and Susan are still underwater, unaware that the others have returned to shore. When they resurface, the boat has gone. They believe that the group will soon return to recover them.

Stranded at sea, it slowly dawns on Daniel and Susan that their boat is not coming back for them. They bicker, battle bouts of hunger and mental exhaustion and realize that they have probably drifted far from the dive site. They also realize that sharks have been circling them below the surface. Soon, jellyfish appear, stinging them both, while sharks come in close. Susan receives a small shark bite on the leg, but does not immediately realize it. Daniel goes under and discovers a small fish feeding on the exposed flesh of her bite wound. Later, a shark bites Daniel and the wound begins to bleed profusely. Susan removes her weight belt and uses it to apply pressure to Daniel's wound, but he appears to go into shock. After night falls, sharks return and attack Daniel during a storm, killing him. The next morning, Daniel and Susan's belongings are finally noticed on the boat by a crew member and he realizes that they must have been left at the dive site. A massive search for the couple begins immediately.

Susan realizes that Daniel is dead and releases him into the water, where sharks pull him down in a feeding frenzy. After putting on her mask, she looks beneath the surface and sees several large sharks now circling her. Susan looks around one last time for any sign of coming rescue. Seeing none, she removes her scuba gear and goes underwater to drown before the sharks can attack. Elsewhere, a fishing crew cut open a newly caught shark's stomach, finding a diving camera (apparently that of Daniel and Susan). One of the fishermen asks offhandedly to another, "Wonder if it works?"

Cast

  • Blanchard Ryan as Susan Watkins
  • Daniel Travis as Daniel Kintner
  • Saul Stein as Seth
  • Michael E. Williamson as Davis
  • Cristina Zenato as Linda
  • John Charles as Junior
  • Estelle Lau as Affected-Ear Diver

Production

The filmmakers used live sharks, as opposed to the mechanical ones used in Jaws or the computer-generated fish in Deep Blue Sea. The film strives for authentic shark behavior, shunning the stereotypical exaggerated shark behavior typical of many films. The movie was shot on digital video. As noted above, the real-life events that inspired this story took place in the southern Pacific Ocean, and this film moves the location to the Atlantic Ocean, being filmed in the Bahamas, the United States Virgin Islands, the Grenadines, and Mexico.[7][8]

During the audition, Chris Kentis and Laura Lau made it clear to Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis there was going to be nudity in the film and that it was non-negotiable. "So it was odd, you know, I was like 'okay, that's fine' and I hadn't been offered the part or anything yet, and then when I was offered the part, that had already been negotiated," said Blanchard.[9]

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Jaws (film)

Jaws (film)

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the 1974 novel by Peter Benchley. It stars Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, who, with the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter, hunts a man-eating great white shark that attacks beachgoers at a summer resort town. Murray Hamilton plays the mayor, and Lorraine Gary portrays Brody's wife. The screenplay is credited to Benchley, who wrote the first drafts, and actor-writer Carl Gottlieb, who rewrote the script during principal photography.

Computer-generated imagery

Computer-generated imagery

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the use of computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, simulators, and visual effects in films, television programs, shorts, commercials, and videos. The images may be static or dynamic, in which case CGI is also called computer animation. CGI may be two-dimensional (2D), although the term "CGI" is most commonly used to refer to the 3-D computer graphics used for creating characters, scenes and special effects in films and television, which is described as "CGI animation".

Deep Blue Sea (1999 film)

Deep Blue Sea (1999 film)

Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 American science fiction horror film directed by Renny Harlin. It stars Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, and LL Cool J. Set in an isolated underwater facility, the film follows a team of scientists and their research on mako sharks to help fight Alzheimer's disease. The situation plunges into chaos when multiple genetically engineered sharks go on a rampage and flood the facility.

Ethology

Ethology

Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions, and viewing behaviour as an evolutionarily adaptive trait. Behaviourism as a term also describes the scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, usually referring to measured responses to stimuli or to trained behavioural responses in a laboratory context, without a particular emphasis on evolutionary adaptivity. Throughout history, different naturalists have studied aspects of animal behaviour. Ethology has its scientific roots in the work of Charles Darwin and of American and German ornithologists of the late 19th and early 20th century, including Charles O. Whitman, Oskar Heinroth, and Wallace Craig. The modern discipline of ethology is generally considered to have begun during the 1930s with the work of Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen and Austrian biologists Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch, the three recipients of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Ethology combines laboratory and field science, with a strong relation to some other disciplines such as neuroanatomy, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Ethologists typically show interest in a behavioural process rather than in a particular animal group, and often study one type of behaviour, such as aggression, in a number of unrelated species.

Digital video

Digital video

Digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images (video) in the form of encoded digital data. This is in contrast to analog video, which represents moving visual images in the form of analog signals. Digital video comprises a series of digital images displayed in rapid succession.

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Oceania in the west and the Americas in the east.

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 km2 (41,100,000 sq mi). It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the "Old World" of Africa, Europe and Asia from the "New World" of the Americas in the European perception of the World.

United States Virgin Islands

United States Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles to the east of Puerto Rico and west of the British Virgin Islands.

Grenadines

Grenadines

The Grenadines is a chain of small islands that lie on a line between the larger islands of Saint Vincent and Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. Nine are inhabited and open to the public : Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Union Island, Petit St Vincent, Palm Island and Mayreau, all in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, plus Petite Martinique and Carriacou in Grenada. Several additional privately owned islands such as Calivigny are also inhabited. Notable uninhabited islands of the Grenadines include Petit Nevis, used by whalers, and Petit Mustique, which was the centre of a prominent real estate scam in the early 2000s.

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico covers 1,972,550 square kilometers (761,610 sq mi), making it the world's 13th-largest country by area; with approximately 126,014,024 inhabitants, it is the 10th-most-populous country and has the most Spanish-speakers. Mexico is organized as a federal republic comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital. Other major urban areas include Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.

Reception

Open Water received mostly positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 196 reviews with an average rating of 6.57/10. The consensus reads: "A low budget thriller with some intense moments."[10] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 63 out of 100, based on reviews from 38 critics' reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]

Most critics praised the film for its intensity and minimalist filmmaking, while it was not well received by the audience. Writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert praised the film highly: "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".[12] In a much less favorable review, A. O. Scott in The New York Times lamented that it "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".[13]

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Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. Although the name "Rotten Tomatoes" connects to the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes in disapproval of a poor stage performance, the original inspiration comes from a scene featuring tomatoes in the Canadian film Léolo (1992).

Metacritic

Metacritic

Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, TV shows, music albums, video games and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999. The site provides an excerpt from each review and hyperlinks to its source. A color of green, yellow or red summarizes the critics' recommendations. It is regarded as the foremost online review aggregation site for the video game industry.

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times is a daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is the flagship paper of Chicago Public Media, and has the second largest circulation among Chicago newspapers, after the Chicago Tribune. The modern paper grew out of the 1948 merger of the Chicago Sun and the Chicago Daily Times. Journalists at the paper have received eight Pulitzer prizes, mostly in the 1970s; one recipient was film critic Roger Ebert (1975), who worked at the paper from 1967 until his death in 2013. Long owned by the Marshall Field family, since the 1980s ownership of the paper has changed hands numerous times, including twice in the late 2010s.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Joseph Ebert was an American film critic, film historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times said Ebert "was without question the nation's most prominent and influential film critic," and Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called him "the best-known film critic in America."

A. O. Scott

A. O. Scott

Anthony Oliver Scott is an American journalist and cultural critic. He has been chief film critic for The New York Times since 2004, a title he shares with Manohla Dargis.

The New York Times

The New York Times

The New York Times is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. It was founded in 1851 by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones, and was initially published by Raymond, Jones & Company. The Times has won 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any newspaper, and has long been regarded as a national "newspaper of record". It is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the U.S.

Box office

Open Water was made for a budget recorded by Box Office Mojo as $120,000, grossed $1 million in 47 theaters on its opening weekend and made a lifetime gross of $55 million.[14]

Awards and nominations

Award Category Subject Result
31st Saturn Awards Best Horror or Thriller Film
N/A
Nominated
Best Actress Blanchard Ryan Won
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Actress Nominated
Best Wide-Release Film N/A Nominated
Worst Film Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Thriller[15] Won
Best Independent[16] Nominated

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Sequels

In 2006, a film marketed as a sequel titled Open Water 2: Adrift was released, although its plot is unrelated to Open Water. A third film in the series titled, Open Water 3: Cage Dive was released in 2017, following the first film's plot of being a survival shark film, although unrelated in continuity.

Source: "Open Water (film)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Water_(film).

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See also
References
  1. ^ Brady, Tara (13 September 2004). "Open Water". hotpress.com. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  2. ^ "Hollywood's 'Open Water' film earns rave reviews". cdnn.info. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008.
  3. ^ Bonin, Liane (2004-08-07). "Open Water: The new Jaws?". EW. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  4. ^ "Open Water - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
  5. ^ "Open Water (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
  6. ^ "Transcript of Troubled Waters". NBC News. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  7. ^ "Open Water (2003)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  8. ^ Sontag, Deborah (2004-08-01). "A Couple Go For a Morning Dive..." The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  9. ^ "Open Water: An Interview with Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis". www.blackfilm.com. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Open Water". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  11. ^ "Open Water". Metacritic. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  12. ^ Roger Ebert (2004-08-06). "Open Water, Chicago Sun-Times, August 6, 2004". Rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  13. ^ Scott, A. O. (2004-08-06). "Hanging With Sharks, at Their Dinner Hour". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  14. ^ Open Water statistics at Boxofficemojo.com. Box Office Mojo
  15. ^ GTA6 Best Thriller" Archived 2017-10-09 at the Wayback Machine. Golden Trailer Awards. Retrieved 19 December 2016
  16. ^ "GTA6 Best Independent" Archived 2017-10-09 at the Wayback Machine. Golden Trailer Awards. Retrieved 19 December 2016
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