Open Water Chris Kentis

Open Water Chris Kentis
Like The Blair Witch Project, Open Water is one of those unassuming indie flicks with a skimpy budget that got picked up not because it's supremely well made but because the concept is so damn terrifying. Mainstream appeal was unquestionable. Being hopelessly adrift in the middle of shark-infested waters is a fear that's easy enough to subscribe to. The film manages, despite its shortcomings, to capture a nightmarish feeling of isolation, identifiable to anyone with a soul. More importantly, without CGI budgeting, it's a shark movie made with real sharks (loveable little reef sharks, but still). While the film's competence is shaky at times, real sharks are so bad-ass that they overshadow the need for real actors, or writers, or editors. With a $130, 000 price-tag, the movie more than recouped its costs at the box office and will likely turn a pretty penny in DVD sales as well (thanks to promises by the special features department to delve into the film's noteworthy back-story). Unfortunately, the features sound a lot more interesting than they actually are. A short called "The Indie Essentials" (always better left to Robert Rodriguez) provides "insight" into the commercial acquisition of low to no budget movies by corporate film moguls who only babble on with motherly "believe in yourself" advice. The deleted scenes are mostly puffy editing scraps: montage shots, weird flourishes and bits where the acting was seemingly too bad to leave in. Commentaries by both the actors and filmmakers are interesting enough, largely because they're mainly logistical. The real gem is in the "making of" doc. If you dig in, there's a "behind the scenes" bit where the director, trying to get some attack footage, gets manhandled by sharks while wearing a chain mail suit. The shark "wranglers" stand idly by while tossing bits of bloody tuna at him to exacerbate the situation. Yes! Plus: trailers, bonus on-location footage. (Lions Gate)