REVIEW: The Reef: Stalked Brings The Suspense and Thrills!
The 2010 fan fav highly effective shark attack horror movie, The Reef by writer/director Andrew Traucki thrilled audiences using footage of actual sharks to increase the films horror aspect.
Now, 12 years later comes its follow-up, The Reef: Stalked, by director Andrew Traucki which follows three sisters and friends who scuba dive together. This time around the film focuses on human drama which helps to develop a strong character background for each of the women in the film. In the The Reef: Stalked, Traucki is able to take real shark footage to strengthen the fear factor in this movie. It plays on that unknown factor or what is out there when you are alone in the water.
This shark horror film starts off at the end of a beautiful day of diving which ends in a horrific tragedy. The movie is focused on Nic (Teressa Lane) parts with friends Lisa (Kate Lister), Jodie (Ann Truong), and sister Cath (Bridget Burt). Nic notices that Cath and her boyfriend Greg (Tim Ross) are not getting along, but her friends assure her Cath is a strong woman. That night, Nic receives a call for help from Cath. When she goes to her sisters home, she finds Greg has gone too far, she finds her sister drowned in a bathtub. The events that happened with her sister Cath has now triggering a new phobia of being submerged underwater. Unable to deal with the drama, Nic leaves behind her family and life, only to return after a lengthy absence for a memorial trip with Lisa, Jodie, and Nic’s other sister Annie (Saskia Archer).
The friends head out to open water as they make their way to an island. Nic struggles with her phobia on a kayaking and diving trip, while trying to mend broken bridges with her sister Annie. Meanwhile the man in the gray suit, aka a Great White Shark is hunting them. The shark helps to motivate the plot line of the film, but its more about personal connections. There are plenty of scenes of tension throughout the film. I don’t want to give anything away, but there are some great scenes that make you not want to go in the ocean especially after seeing the ocean predator lurking below instills that edge of your seat fear. After the women joke about the shark being called the Man in the Gray suit, they come face to face with him as they make their way to the island.
There are a few moments in the film where we actually have shark attack moments, but the shark takes a back seat to the main storyline of personal drama. However, Traucki achieves his goal when it comes to Nic overcoming her PTSD and mending fences with her sister and friends after the shark brings them closer together. The film tends to struggle a bit since the women in the film lack to bring the true fear of a shark lurking under the water. When the scenes call for extreme moments, the women are more on a level of talking it out. Overall Traucki writing skills helps to keep this movie above water, but it’s no 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, unless you are talking about the Sistine Stallone lackluster death scene in the movie.
We give The Reef: Stalked a C for effort.
The Reef: Stalked breaks into theaters, VOD and Shudder on July 29.