Open Water 1 & 2 Are Thrilling

Amelia Barnum, Reporter

The ocean is a dangerous place. No other movies make that more apparent than Open Water (2003) and its sequel Open Water 2: Adrift (2006). These two independent films tell stories of human survival on the vast sea. Although these movies don’t get the acknowledgment they deserve, there is no denying that they are filled to the brim with bone-chilling suspense and uncomfortable dread.

Open Water (2003)

Loosely based on the real disappearance of Tom and Eileen Lonergan, the film stars an American couple who, after an inaccurate headcount, get left behind by their scuba diving group. The couple frantically struggles to survive without food or water while being stranded in shark-infested waters. The movie captivated audiences with its documentary style, leaving the viewer uneasy with the realistic nature of the film. With a small budget and no use of CGI, the film makes excellent use of its wide shots, making the characters feel hopelessly alone in the expansive water and including real sharks. Although the characters aren’t complex, this was done to make the viewers imagine themselves in the situation. All in all, a perfect movie that leaves you wondering, “What’s underneath you?”

Open Water 2: Adrift (2006) 

It is bizarre to view a sequel unrelated to the previous film. Open Water 2: Adrift is a film about friends who go partying on a yacht. Everything seems fine as everyone jumps into the water; however, there is no way back onto the boat. Struggling to tread water, the friends must get back onto the boat while escaping a watery death. Instead of sharks, the characters must battle sunburns, dehydration, starvation, and even each other. The movie swaps out the documentary style of the original for a more cinematic style. Although it is not as great as its predecessor, the film is engaging with tons of terrifying shots capturing the isolation of the characters and the Ocean. The film also depicts moments of panic from the characters and dramatically leaves the characters’ fates a mystery. Overall, a great survival story that leaves you wanting the safety of a boat.

In conclusion, these incredibly different movies shine in their ability to capture human fear and dread of open waters.