Category Archives: Australian Cinema
Guest Post – The Reef
If there is one thing we do here in Australia, its animals that could straight up fucking kill
you. 15 out of the 10 deadliest snakes in the world are Australian and we’ve got two species
of killer spiders. Throw in killer crocs, octopus, jellyfish and even shells amongst others, and
coming here can be a little intimidating. Hell we even have giant birds and kangaroos that can
kick you to death.
But to be really honest, these animals are generally totally off the beaten track. With the
exception of kangaroos (which I see basically every day on my drive to work and I live in
Australia’s capital city) most people would be (un)lucky to see any of the above animals once
or twice in a lifetime. So day to day, there is little to fear about these things.
However, the most notable exception is frickin sharks. As a generalisation, Aussies love the
beach. And that is a shark’s domain, there is no outrunning a shark in the water. Shark attacks
are relatively common and I would say there are 3-5 fatal attacks a year here. Not to mention
quite a few more finger and leg chompings. Little reason then that sharks are the animals
most feared by Australians.
Also little reason then that The Reef scared the living shit out of me. A tale of 4 friends
who find themselves alone way out to sea after the yacht they are on sinks. Alone that is,
besides all the bloody sharks (or at least one really pesky one). This is not your over the top,
Sharkasaurus type film. This is raw, real and visceral. The masterstroke of the film is that
it utilises almost exclusively real shark footage and then edits it seamlessly into the action.
Thinking about it a little more, the editing of the film really is spectacularly good. Editing
is one of those facets of film that whilst I realise its importance, I don’t generally notice or
comment on that much. Here though, it really makes the film.
The film looks pretty incredible, with plenty of really crisp looking ocean shots. All of these
perfectly convey the utter vastness of the ocean, just how frightening and isolating a place it
can be. And whilst aspects of the set-up are a little pulpy with an almost TV feel to them, the
action picks up in a second half that is really quite harrowing. It is almost as if you are living
the entire ordeal with these people. I’ve seen the film twice now and both times I was pretty
effected by it and it gave me pause for thought the next time I dipped a toe in the water of one
of our pristine beaches.
I highly recommend this film. This is legit thriller territory, not B movie madness (if you’re
more keen on the latter, check out the 2012 Aussie flick Bait 3D). The story is simple, yet
brutal. And it finishes off with a really well crafted, not to mention pretty brutal, conclusion.
Take a look if you can get your hands on it.
(Editor’s Note: Just the trailer gives me the heebie-jeebies to the point I don’t think I’d make it through this!)
Thanks again to Tim of Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie for the excellent guest review. Be sure to check out his site because he constantly has sweet things going on!