film review: The Reef (2010)

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I’d heard about The Reef… vaguely. I’d heard it was a low budget Australian film about some people who get caught out at sea. It featured in the Horrorthon in the IFI in 2010. However, having not been a big fan of Open Water and being limited by funds, I skipped it…

… Then I didn’t hear about it again until it popped up on DVD this week. I figured, hey, why not?

I have to admit, I had low expectations… real low. I really didn’t like Open Water. But, to be honest, I’m actually glad I did bother in the end.

The Reef is a much more interesting film than that one. Written and directed by Andrew Traucki and starring a cast of unknowns… well to be fair, I have no idea if they’re known in Australia, but they’re unknown to me, it skips along at a jaunty pace. While I wouldn’t claim that I really felt for the characters, they were decent and likeable so you didn’t want to see them get eaten by an ol’ Great White. As I so often would in these types of films. Traucki even manages to throw in a bit of subplot which doesn’t feel tacked on for the sake of it. Definitely a cut above the usual.

Speaking of the shark, or sharks, they looked good! No cheapo special effects here. Those were real sharks and with them the film-maker managed to create some real tension. No mean feat in a film where you’re pretty sure you know what’s going to happen from the minute you look at the DVD cover.

All in all, it’s a good addition to the genre. Worth a look, and a bag of popcorn, if it appears in your local DVD store.

Hmm… this may actually be the shortest review I’ve ever done.


The Reef is out on DVD from 24th January 2011.

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