A great white shark hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Reef” begins with the requisite introduction of the main characters. Their names don’t matter so let’s simplify by identifying there is a couple, a former couple and a sailor. The group of five take to the ocean from Sydney, Australia for a day of underwater snorkeling. But upon their return, their vessel hits a hidden rock and tears a hole in the ship’s hull. The boat flips and soon the five mates are sitting on the underbelly of their capsized and sinking ship. With an outdated rescue beacon, four members of the group decide to take to the water in hopes they can swim to land which they approximate to be 10-12 miles north of their location. To the water they take, but before long their positive spirit is met with terrifying reality when a shark begins to circle the swimming foursome. Panic turns to frightful horror when the shark attacks and eats one of the water treading swimmers.The pacing is slow, following this sub-genre tropes but there is no tension buildup. Proof that Traucki misses the point of the 2003 original. Alarmingly, this is even a setback for Traucki as Black Water at least featured interesting terrain, giving more options to his characters, who were also more lifelike and interesting. Here, there is very little to redeem the movie.
The Blu-Ray comes with a making-of featurette about the production. You also get a trailer to round out the most supplemental material ever generated for a generic shark attack movie. A lot of people have compared it to Open Water, which is cool. But, I found that the suspense was a little bit overplayed with the DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track blaring every musical cue like anti-suspense sonar. The transfer is muddled, but it still holds up for a decent horror affair. In the end, I’d recommend a rental.