Tuesday 2 August 2022

REVIEW: The Reef: Stalked - Starring Teressa Liane, Ann Truong and Saskia Archer

Review by Jon Donnis
The Reef Stalked is the latest shark film to try get you to stay out of the water. As with all Shark attack type films, they will all be compared to Jaws, and as such I happen to have a Jaws soundboard app on my phone, which is always fun to use when watching such a film and seeing if you can judge the music with the attack.

The film starts with Cathy (Bridget Burt), Jodie (Ann Truong), Nic (Teressa Liane) and Lisa (Kate Lister) diving and catching fish, when finished they take a photo together, as they are going back to the care park, Greg (Tim Ross), Cathy's husband appears, despite arranging to go home on her own, she goes back with Greg. Nic sees Greg shouting at Cath by their car. Later in the day Nic receives a text from Cath, and rushes to their house. She finds Greg inside, he tells her that Cathy made him do it, Nic then finds Cathy's lifeless body in the bath, Greg had drowned her.

And that is the main emotional setup for the film. Nic, her younger sister and a couple of friends decide to go on an Island Kayaking trip. Much of the film looks at how Nic is dealing with her grief, as well as how she handled things directly in the days and weeks after. And of course lots of flashbacks as if she was the one being drowned by Greg.

Since this is a shark film, we all pretty much know what will happen next, attractive women on Kayaks, get attacked by a Great White Shark, this is not rocket science. There are lots of "false" attacks, jump scares, the usual stuff. 

So, the question then has to be, is the Shark Scary? Well, it takes at least 30 minutes for the first proper Shark appearance, and to be fair the attacks are decent, the CGI is not over the top, and not too obvious either, which is a good thing.

The Good
An attempt at an actual story in a shark attack-based film seems rare, but they have tried here to add layers to the characters and have them deal with much more than just a shark. 

The Bad
There are not enough deaths for me, it is something you expect in a film with a Shark. It is also hard not to want to cheer on the shark at times too.

A simple film, which a good attempt at storytelling beyond the obvious, characters with layers, and a relatively satisfying ending.

I score The Reef: Stalked a fair 7.5/10