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Open Water (2003)

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Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left.


Chris Kentis


Chris Kentis
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Blanchard Ryan ... Susan Watkins
Daniel Travis ... Daniel Kintner
Saul Stein ... Seth
Michael E. Williamson Michael E. Williamson ... Davis (as Michael Williamson)
Cristina Zenato Cristina Zenato ... Linda (as Cristina Zenaro)
John Charles John Charles ... Junior (as Jon Charles)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Estelle Lau Estelle Lau ... Estelle


A couple on a holiday in the Caribbean decide to spend the day on a scuba diving trip. But was it the wrong decision? When a mis-count happens on the boat, Susan and Daniel are left behind in the middle of the ocean, the boat long gone. With all their hopes set on the boat coming back to rescue them, they try to keep themselves safe, especially when sharks start to appear. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't get left behind See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

20 August 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mar abierto See more »

Filming Locations:

Bahamas See more »


Box Office


$120,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,100,943, 8 August 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,610,863, 7 October 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Plunge Pictures LLC See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Broken Lizard (comedy team behind the film Super Troopers) star Steve Lemme had a small role as a scuba diver on the boat. See more »


Susan and Daniel's snorkels change from the left side to the right side of their heads and back several times (divers always wear them on the left). See more »


[first lines]
Daniel: [on his cellphone] Hey Don. It's Daniel. Listen, don't put the boiler in until I get back. The framing inspection isn't for a couple of weeks, so we've got plenty of time. And I'll check in with you guys in a couple of days, OK? Take care. Bye.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the credits roll, a fisherman guts a dead shark. As he sorts through the contents of its stomach, he finds Susan and Daniel's yellow camera. See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Pump Me Up
Performed by the group Krosfyah
By Edwin Yearwood
Published by Rahdika Publishing (bacap)
Courtesy of Cross Fire Ventures,
Barbados (c) (p) 1995
See more »

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User Reviews

Over-rated But a Nice Try: No Competition for "Shark Week"
7 August 2004 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

Director Chris Kentis and his wife, Laura Lau, are Manhattanites with one previous film to their credit, "Grind." "Open Water" is a labor of love and a fine exemplar of unflagging commitment and energy. It took the couple several years to get this Indie flick filmed, screened and - mirabile dictu - caught up in the kind of sudden rapture that allows the real powerhouses of the film industry to boast that they're always looking for that non-studio gem from outsiders just waiting for deserved discovery.

Well, they haven't a gem here but it's not a disaster either. Based on the actual disappearance of an American couple in the Pacific who were scuba diving and were left by their guide boat (a story that has some crime/conspiracy addicts claiming the couple is either still alive somewhere or there was a murder/suicide: take your pick), Kentis and Lau created a similar tale.

Newcomers to the movie screen, very pretty Blanchard Ryan plays Susan and Daniel Travis, Daniel. They're a couple (not clear if they're married but who cares) with a very nice suburban house and good jobs. Susan's job is a real 24/7 deal causing the couple to have to book a scuba diving vacation in the Caribbean at the last minute - their original and safer plans succumbed to her work priorities.

This couple graduated seamlessly and affluently from Yuppiehood to DINK (Double Income-No Kids) status. So they can afford this great vacation.

They dive with about twenty other people. An SOP exists for making sure that everyone is aboard before the boat departs the area but Susan and Daniel are left high and dry. Actually low and wet. Why? Because that greatest of all universal forces, Negligence, permitted a fatal miscount.

What follows is a conversation flick as Daniel and Susan alternately hug and cuddle and then argue. Daniel starts off giving the not initially worried Susan tips based on his viewing of "Shark Week" and other armchair adventure cable shows. But as the situation becomes more serious with no sign of rescue the couple cathartically exhumes the domestic grievances that are as common as the cold for young professionals.

The sharks (actually corralled by unseen herders) make regular appearances. The excellent sound system in the Loew's Lincoln Square theater was augmented today by frequent cries from at least three viewers strategically seated around the perimeter of the audience.

This isn't an anti-shark movie. It's a pale story but the two leads give it their best. Susan's Dramamine wears off soon, she announces. Actually it's at the point where some motion sickness-sensitive moviegoers might well need the little pill themselves as the digital cameras rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall.

Perhaps because Ryan and Travis are so inexperienced as actors there's a certain innocent believability in their behavior and conversation.

Blanchard Ryan said in an interview that she didn't mind doing a nude scene early in the movie because she thought no one would see it. Wrong. By word of mouth and with some extravagant reviews this movie is packing them in, at least here in Gotham.

Digital Video movies are still clearly inferior to those shot on standard stock. When the story and characters are really interesting, as in "Pieces of April," the washed out quality can be ignored. Not here as the ocean swells rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall.


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