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Ship delivery man Luke (Damian Walsh-Howling) is accompanied by four friends (Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering, Zoe Naylor, Mark Simpson) as he charts a yacht to its new owner. Along the way, their ship is ripped open by the coral reefs hiding just below the ocean’s surface. They are forced to choose: stay on board with slim hope of rescue, or swim twelve miles to the nearest island…through shark-infested waters. Those that abandon ship are faced with the race of their lives, for as soon as they enter the water a Great White shark catches their scent and the white-knuckled chase is on!
"The Reef" is only loosely based on the overturning of a fishing trawler in rough seas off the North Queensland coast in 1983. The story is a bit slow in the beginning but it does manage to get in some character development during that time but I did feel it could of had a little more so the audience could get to know these characters on a more personal level but there's enough here to have you caring about them later in the film. There's been a lot of shark attack movies made over the years, "The Reef" may not be perfect but it rises above most of the others including "Open Water." The one thing the film benefited from was the use of real shark footage instead of using cgi, it gives the film a much more realistic feel and it even helps in creating more fear and tension. To talk about what happens in the film would only spoil it for those wanting to see it so I'm not going to go into details here but I can tell you there are a good number of nail-biting scenes in the film and the cinematography here is flawless.
Director, Andrea Traucki(Black Water) does a great job in creating the right atmosphere from the sense of nowhere to go and hide while the four of them are in the water to the fantastic shark footage that sends chills up your spine as you wait to see what happens next. If you're a fan of these man versus nature thrillers then I highly recommend picking this one up, the genre has been none over and over again but "The Reef" brings back the scares on a level you haven't seen since "Jaws." Available on DVD and Blu-ray both come with Special Features that include:
Released by Image Entertainment
*** 3/4 Out Of *****