A group of people must not only survive on a lifeboat, but things get worse when the titular creature comes abound in his thriller from Australian commercial director Martin Wilson, who makes his feature film debut.
Kaz and Charlie, a couple who run a small seaplane business with their friend Benny, are attempting to keep it afloat. They soon are excited when a couple of vacationers, Joji and his wife Michelle, render their services for their trip. Recognizing Michelle as someone Charlie had helped in the past, Kaz and Charlie are more than honored to give the couple a time to remember. However, it soon becomes a time to remember, but not for the right reasons.
Upon arriving at the remote Hell’s Reef, the group finds themselves in trouble. Forced into the open ocean, the group ends up in a lifeboat with limited supplies. Tensions rise between the five people, but that soon becomes the least of their issues. A great white shark arrives in the area and surrounds the group. Charlie has dealt with them before, having been a survivor. Will the group be able to survive more than their tensions and work together to avoid the deadly apex predator?
Sharks and survival are a fad that has been around since the days of a certain Steven Spielberg film that was released in the mid-1970s. One can also think of more recent fare like the Open Water and 47 Meters Down franchises. For this film, it is somewhat of a meshing of films like Open Water and The Shallows with Down Under as the setting. What helps a film of this genre is that the chemistry between the lead characters must work out well and here, it does just that.
Katrina Bowden and Aaron Jakubenko do quite well in their roles of couple Kaz and Charlie. Bowden, the sole American in the cast, does a great job in the role of Kaz when it comes to her helping Charlie out. There is something that helps elevate Kaz’s mode of survival later in the film and that’s the fact that she before this ill-fated trip, she reveals she is pregnant. With what transpires, we can see Kaz’s mode of survival instincts kick up as she now must protect her two loves: her lover and now, her baby. Jakubenko’s Charlie has dealt with this before and it helps drive his instincts of survival as well.
What’s very intriguing are the characters of Joji and Michelle. Played by Asian-Australians Tim Kano and Kimi Tsukahoshi, they start off as a sort of Mr. and Mrs. Howell-like couple. Rich people who just want the vacation and the time of their lives. However, with Joji reveals to have a fear of water and Michelle remembering both Charlie and his cohort Benny, played by Te Kohe Tuhaka, these two couldn’t be any more opposites. However, the tensions that rise between all the characters when they see a corpse on Hell’s Reef triggers the central plot of the film.
It is the combination of tension and shark kills that make the film definitely watchable. While it may sound like another average human vs. shark film, the performances of Great White help elevate the film as a really good film to check out.
WFG RATING: B
RLJE Films presents a Thrills & Spills/Altitude Media Group/Cornerstone Pictures film in association with Chop Shop Post, Filmology Finance, and Truth or Dare. Director: Martin Wilson. Producers: Pam Collis, Neal Kingston, and Michael Robinson. Writer: Michael Boughen. Cinematography: Tony O’Loughlan. Editing: Lawrie Silvestrin.
Cast: Katrina Bowden, Aaron Jakubenko, Kimie Tsukakoshi, Tim Kano, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Jason Wilder, Tatjana Marjanovic.
The film is coming out in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on July 16.