Twelve years after the first trip, Andrew Traucki brings us back to The Reef in this thematic sequel.
Nic is a diver who enjoyed her time with her best friends Jodie and Lisa alongside her sister Kath. However, when Kath is murdered in a domestic violence incident, Nic disappears for nine months and has given up her love for diving. However, she has decided to reunite with Jodie and Lisa on a kayaking adventure to help get over her loss. She is surprised to see her younger sister Annie has taken up diving and the four head to their trip.
While kayaking in the middle of the ocean, Annie is shocked to find a great white who hits her kayak and puts her in the water. Narrowly making it in time, Lisa attempts to reach to Annie but when she is knocked off her kayak, Annie witnesses the shark killing Lisa. Nic and Jodie are shocked and reach Annie in time. Nic’s PTSD slowly begins to get the best of her. Meanwhile, Jodie and Annie must do what it takes to help Nic get over her fear and help escape the reef alive before they become the next victims.
In 2010, The Reef was a really good film that can be described as Open Water meets Jaws. It would be one of two major films Andrew Traucki would be known for (2007’s Black Water is the other)and over a decade later, Traucki has decided it was time to return to The Reef with this thematic sequel. However, Traucki adds more depth to the lead character as she must overcome her past demons and fears to best the menace that has returned.
Teressa Liane, who looks like she could be a sister to Samara Weaving or Margot Robbie due to a resemblance to those two, pulls off a terrific performance as Nic, our lead who we see go from happy to shock and destroyed when she finds her sister drowned after a domestic dispute with her boyfriend. We learn during the reunion that the death of her sister forced her to give up diving. However, it is she who has to overcome her PTSD and past demons in order to find a way to escape the great white who terrorizes them.
Ann Truong and Kate Lister are great as Nic’s friends Jodie and Lisa, but it is Saskia Archer’s Annie who makes quite an impact as well. When we are introduced to Annie, she is seen as the lazy young sister who could care less. In the nine months since her sister’s passing, we see Annie who is now the headstrong sister. She became what Nic was once what and it is her will and composure that could prove vital in a very important scene that may help Nic overcome her past and fight to survive.
The Reef: Stalked is a well-made shark attack movie and a welcome return to the franchise. Teressa Liane’s PTSD-stricken protagonist is a very important character that brings depth to the film and the shark scenes are well done as well.
WFG RATING: B+
RLJE Films and Shudder presents a Thrills & Spills production in association with Filmology Finance, Cornerstone Pictures, Mysterious Light, ProdigyMovies, and Truth or Dare. Director: Andrew Traucki. Producers: Neal Kingston, Jack Christian, Michael Robertson, and Andrew Traucki. Writer: Andrew Traucki. Cinematography: Justin Brickle. Editing: Scott Walmsley.
Cast: Teressa Liane, Ann Truong, Saskia Archer, Kate Lister, Tim Ross.
The film will be released in select theaters, VOD, Digital, and streaming on Shudder on July 29.