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Customer Review

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An above average shark attack movie, July 12, 2011
This review is from: The Reef (DVD)
"The Reef" is only loosely based on the overturning of a fishing trawler in rough seas off the North Queensland coast in 1983. The three survivors were attacked by one or more Tiger sharks, and only the captain was able to swim to a reef where he was rescued by searchers.

"The Reef" tells the story of four friends who are forced to abandon their overturned small yacht off the coast of North Queensland when the boat's keel is torn off by impact with rock or coral. There is little time for character development in the short time that elapses before tragedy strikes the travellers.

Fearing that the boat will be carried further out to sea by the current or sink, the four decide to swim to Turtle Island which is believed to be about ten miles away. On their long swim they are constantly stalked by one of the most fearsome predators in the sea - a Great White shark. The impact of the story is greatly enhanced by the refusal of the film makers to fall back on unrealistic CGI sharks. As they are repeatedly attacked by the Great White, the actors appear to be actually in the sea with a real shark. The cinematography, both above and below water, deserves the highest marks. Without giving the story away, it can be said that the film has some truly frightening moments, and the sense of unrelenting menace creates almost unbearable tension and raises this film well above "Open Water" on a scare factor rating.

The product of 15 million years of evolution, the Great White is probably the most intelligent shark in the sea, and noted for its ability to lift its head out of the water to appraise its prey or those who are hunting it, as was seen in "Jaws". Attack images of the outthrust jaws of Great White sharks are truly nightmarish and the film makers have not erred in placing this monster close to Turtle Island which is located at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great White has been known to range much further north along the Great Barrier Reef.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 20, 2011 6:06:00 PM PDT
That was a KILLER review... I completely concur on the movie-making comments, as well as the very cool facts on great whites... well spoken!

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 4:35:42 PM PDT
Agreed, WONDERFUL review.
thank you Sir!

i have a fear/love relationship with sharks, Whites and Tigers mostly,
i do love all sharks though.
i hope the movie is as good as your well written review!

Posted on May 22, 2012 9:50:11 AM PDT
Sharklady says:
As a shark-lover, now you've talked me into getting this movie!! I can recommend another good shark movie: 12 Days of Terror, based on the 1916 New Jersey shark attacks, although in this movie the attacks occur in the same place, rather than three different locations. It's a good one, though, because let's face it: nothing beats Jaws when it comes to shark movies.

Posted on Jan 27, 2013 8:52:27 AM PST
Jim LaRegina says:
James, I stumbled across THE REEF on NETFLIX streaming and found it a first-rate thriller. Thanks for your review, as I like THE REEF even more knowing the filmmakers did not stretch the truth beyond acceptable limits.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 7:12:48 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2013 7:13:50 AM PST
Sharklady says:
I'm sure you're referring to James's review -- it was awesome. Make sure to check out 12 Days of Terror -- it's a really good movie, up there with The Reef.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2013 10:52:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2013 10:55:50 PM PST
James Bowen says:
I always appreciate hearing from Sharklady when I review a movie about sharks. Incidentally, my fixation on sharks dates back to a time when I was on a small government trawler carrying a Supreme Court party from the Trobriand Islands to Samarai on the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea. These normally crystal green waters are shark-infested and our trawler ran into a cyclone/hurricane when about two miles offshore. With amazing skill, our native skipper managed to turn the trawler about despite the wild seas and his boat almost overturning twice. I had no life jacket and was hoping that I would drown before becoming a meal for a Tiger Shark. We made it back to safety but I have avoided small boats ever since. I have watched and enjoyed 12 Days of Terror and recommend Bait to Sharklady. "Bait" is not as good as "The Reef" but it is very suspenseful and has some truly frightening moments. I feel that "Bait" is much better than some of the cheaply made shark horror movies such as Spring Break Shark Attack.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2013 7:59:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2013 8:07:44 AM PST
Sharklady says:
Thanks for your kind words. Dude, I avoid ALL boats! I only go into the ocean to about my calves (constantly looking for fins, etc. around me) and that's it -- I stick to pools. What a nerve-wracking experience you went through -- I'm sure you saw your life pass before you. But I'm going to check out "Bait" as I've never heard of it (!!??!). I find most shark movies to be very cheesy with horrible footage and even worse acting. It seems that very few, if any, can rate up there with "Jaws," my all-time favorite movie and the reason I started studying sharks. I can recommend some good shark books too and I'm always open to a good referral, book or movie. Thanks again.

Posted on Aug 8, 2014 6:49:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 8, 2014 6:52:13 PM PDT
Le Stryge says:
PLEASE do not take anything that the appalling "BRUCE" does in "Jaws" as in any way representative of actual Great White behaviour!
It manages to swim somehow without moving its tail for a start!
Its jaw movements are so clunky you can almost hear the rusty hinges!
The movie itself isn't all that bad, .....how I wish they would just re-do that pitiful shark with today's available technology.
George Lucas was able to later "correct" Star Wars, so surely this would not be all that difficult?
The sharks in "Bait" are way better, ...even if that movie is a dud.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2016 12:52:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 10, 2016 4:48:41 PM PDT
Ken Oconnell says:
lol. if you're trying to make some valid point in what CGI can do to a movie to make it 'better', and you coin Lucas and his butchering of a franchise...well your comment is duly noted (and thanks for the chuckle).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2016 3:45:31 PM PDT
Le Stryge says:
Lucas now seems a master!
It's "JarJar" Abrams that has since forever butchered a franchise.....
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

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