Kate, her brother Matt and his girlfriend Suzie arrive at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to meet up with Kate’s ex-lover Luke. Luke and his friend Warren deliver boats round the world for a living. Luke’s offered to take his three friends sailing for a week on a boat he has to deliver to Indonesia. On the water Kate and Luke’s relationship starts to reignite but it’s fraught with old conflicts. Dawn, the next day. Suddenly the boat flips. There is a frantic struggle to save themselves and get on to the overturned hull. On top of the hull they see that the keel has been ripped away.
Assessing the situation Luke decides their best chance for survival is to swim for a nearby island. Should they swim or should they stay? One of them refuses to go whilst the other four decide to try and make the island. As they swim they become aware that they are being stalked by a huge shark. Based on true events, THE REEF is a tense survival thriller that begs the question, what would I do in this situation?
Following in the steps of such films as Deep Blue Sea, Open Water and of course, the penultimate shark movie JAWS, The Reef comes to cinemas to once again question whether or not it’s safe to go even near the water.
Shot on the Sony RED camera, The Reef follows a small group of people out for a little fun in the sun while trying to rekindle broken relationships and have a good time. Everything looks like it’s all coming together for Luke, (Damian Walshe-Howling) and Kate (Zoe Naylor) who seem to have been estranged in the very recent past.
Tragedy strikes as the boat overturns and the friends have to make a decision whether to swim back to the island that they visited the day before or stay with the boat and hope to get rescued.
With not a steadycam or a locked off camera shot in sight, The Reef is a film that trys too hard. With what can be nicely described as a ‘mediocre’ script, the performances are unrealistic and one dimensional. Sure, you can argue that the horror/thriller genre is not particularly well known for it’s literate credentials, but when you physically find yourself saying to the screen “be smarter”, you know that there are problems.
The shark looks like it has been captured off a National Geographic documentary and the shots edited straight into the movie with some patchy compositing done. The score was overblown and tedious, making the film at times laughable.
Knowing that the actors came from various TV shows, the performances felt stilted and would be better served on the small screen. In particular Gyton Grantley showed none of the skills that he displayed on Underbelly and Beneath Hill 60. Everyone was coasting and put in paycheck performances.
Finding little else to recommend this film, I give it 1 and a half out of 5.
The Reef is in cinemas now.