An Australian couple take a sailing trip in the Pacific to forget about a terrible accident. While on the open sea, in dead calm, they come across a ship with one survivor who is not at all what he seems. Written by
Loring Holden <email@example.com>
Billy Zane starred in two other films also involving a sinking ship and some kind of love triangle: Titanic (1997) and Survival Island (2005). In all three films, he plays the more menacing of the two men and the woman chooses "the other guy" over him. See more »
Before Rae and Hughie move on the floor to have sex Rae and Hughie are fully clothed. When they drop onto the floor Hughie is naked while Rae is only partially dressed. See more »
Dead Calm is directed by Australian film maker Philip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) and he is very talented director. This film stars young Nicole Kidman (21-22 years old in this film!) as a wife to Sam Neill and they have lost their son in a horrible car accident. They want to get over it and so they go to the sea with their boat and spend several weeks there. All is going fine and they are going to get over the loss of their son, but soon they discover an abandoned looking ship in the horizon and a man (Billy Zane) paddling desperately towards them. The man reaches the ship and the couple helps him on the board. He is little confusing and suspicious and soon his real nature is revealed...
This is extremely pleasant thriller and reminds me of films written by Eric Red (The Hitcher, Near Dark, Blue Steel) and these four films are very similar. The atmosphere in Dead Calm is very haunting and incredibly restrained. The atmosphere is also very similar to David Lynch and Lost Highway and Twin Peaks. The music is very important element in Dead Calm (as is in The Hitcher and Near Dark, too) and the overall feeling is very threatening and ominous. There are many exciting and breath taking scenes such as the one in which Sam Neill is trapped in a boat that is sinking and filling with water. With music, the photography is great and there are definitely no technical flaws in this great and surprisingly effective flick.
The young Nicole Kidman is so talented and acts perfectly. No one can say she can't act. Just look at her face and expressions: she is the main character in here and she is almost in every scene and she does nothing wrong or never acts over the top. The other actor's are also great, Sam Neill and Bill Zane, even though Zane goes little too far in couple of scenes and is not too believable. But overall, because there are so many great elements here, these little flaws and illogical plot turns can be forgiven.
Philip Noyce is worth watching director and he has done also other effective thrillers, but I think this will be one of his greatest achievements. Dead Calm is highly recommended.
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