Alicia Silverstone gives off a top-notch performance in this survival thriller from the director of Furie and House in the Alley.
Jaelyn and Kyle are an American couple vacationing in Vietnam to repair their marriage after the effects of a traumatic incident nearly tears them apart. While Kyle is enjoying the vacation, Jaelyn begins to have reservations when she refuses to go near the water. When an attempt to break her fear leads to a diving expedition that leads to Kyle accidentally cutting his foot, Jaelyn begins to freak out. Eventually, Kyle and Jaelyn slowly begin to hash out their differences.
That night, a massive storm hits the area and the couple find themselves affected by it. Their vacation hut is destroyed, and Kyle breaks his leg in the incident. When the couple wake up, they find themselves in the middle of the ocean in their now broken home. As Kyle and Jaelyn find themselves stranded, futile attempts to get the attention of a small plane flying over the ocean becomes the least of their problems. When sharks arrive and circle the hut, the couple must do what it takes to survive.
Le Van Kiet, the director of the horror film House in the Alley and the action thriller Furie, makes his major Hollywood debut with this indie survival thriller that he also wrote. These types of films have been done, such as the Open Water franchise, The Shallows, and others. However, those who know Le Van Kiet’s work knows that he likes to tease the audience with certain elements before unleashing an unexpected twist that makes the film even more outstanding. In this case, Le adds quite a few twists and flashbacks to give us a full understanding of our lead characters.
Alicia Silverstone may be forever known for her work in 1990s films like Clueless and Batman and Robin to name a few. However, this is perhaps one of her best roles to date and it is because she gets to pull off a brilliant performance as a seriously flawed housewife. She suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after a massive incident leads to her marriage on the verge of imploding. James Tupper does a really good job at trying to quell the fire as Kyle, Jaelyn’s husband who is trying his hardest to make the marriage work. It is once they decide to try to work things out is when disaster strikes.
The storm scene is very impactful and even leads to an insane stunt scene where Jaelyn flies in the air and faceplants on the floor. However, that’s nothing compared to the madness that happens next as we see Jaelyn and Kyle attempt to overcome the odds together as they are forced in the middle of the ocean. There are little teasers here and there, but once we see the sharks become the new element, things really come to a head and this is where Le does his best in terms of the script adding some major twists and turns and transforming a PTSD-stricken housewife into someone who will go against the odds to help she and her survive.
The Requin is an excellent American debut for Le Van Kiet with one of Alicia Silverstone’s finest performances to date and great support from James Tupper as a couple forced to survive both their marriage and their situation in the middle of the ocean.
WFG RATING: B+
Saban Films presents a Film Bridge International production in association with Paper Street Productions. Director: Le Van Kiet. Producers: Aaron B. Koontz, Cameron Burns, Jordan Dykstra, Todd Lundbohm, Ellen S. Wander, and Ashleigh Snead. Writer: Le Van Kiet. Cinematography: Matt S. Bell. Editing: Tommy Aagaard.
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, James Tupper, Danny Chung, Deirdre O’ Connell, Kameron Hood, Jennifer Mudge, Kha Mai.
The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on January 28th.