What it can't be is boring. I can stir boring up all on my own.
I'm intrigued by suspenseful movies that are based on real life situations. I guess I like the idea that really cool things happen to real people. Even if the drama is "beefed up" for the sake of making a good movie.
When I first saw the trailer for Open Water, I thought - there is no way I will see that. Two people stranded in the middle of the ocean? That will not end well. Then I found out it was based on a true story. That changed everything!
So, X and I went to see it in the theater. It was 79 minutes long - just over an hour. It would be more like watching a two hour Discovery Channel special. I was psyched!
|Go Sharks - Go!!|
First, it was a string of scenes of two people getting ready for vacation. Have you ever gotten ready for vacation with someone else? It can be stressful, frustrating, annoying and can often result in a couple of little fights. What it is not is film-worthy. This was no different. Even the director must've realized that, because he inserted a gratuitous, full-frontal nudity shot, almost like an apology to his audience.
Then we go out on the boat. More bad acting, more boring story. I'll spare you the details on how they hypothesize two people could get left off after a head count - but it was weak. If something like that really happened, the person doing that counting shouldn't even be responsible for counting milk in a school cafeteria, much less counting heads when it's life or death.
I'd say that all takes about a half an hour. Very, very, very boring. But it's nothing compared to what comes next.
Two people, bobbing up and down in the ocean. The audience listens to them go through the phases - surprise, worry, shock, and then anger. They fought like a couple would fight - they blamed each other: If you hadn't wanted to go on this stupid trip....well, if you hadn't want to swim further than the group! At one point, the man says to the woman, "You know the best part? We paid for this!!" at which point X turned to me, in the theater, and said loudly, "So did we!" It was dark, but I'm pretty sure the people around us were nodding in agreement.
It ends - mercifully - the way you'd expect. At one point, I swear, you'll find yourself rooting on the sharks.
I found out later that the director had a very small budget to make this independent film. He hired a couple of stunt people to play the lead characters - which explains the horrible acting. He dressed them in chain mail under scuba outfits, and put them in the water - with chum. He basically made them human bait, so he could film real sharks for free, instead of spending money.
Good actors would not sign up for this job.
I've seen a lot of bad movies, but none compare to the horrendous movie-going experience that was Open Water. I wanted to provide an idea of what I mean when I rate a movie:
***** I saw it twice and will buy the DVD
**** I'll watch it again when I can do so for free
*** Wait for the cheap theater
** Wait for TV / Netflix
* Slightly better than Open Water
Because nothing will ever be as bad as Open Water.