the reef theatrical poster
© Lightning Entertainment, 2010.


A ferocious shark stalks a group of friends trying to swim to safety after a shipwreck. As the fiend with fins picks off each of the pals, the blue Australian water is turned into blood-red broth. Who will make it to shore in one piece – and who will wind up in ol’ Toothy’s stomach? You’ll have to watch to find out, but suffice it to say that this aquatic Australian horror film breathes new life into the frightful fish genre in an era when SHARKNADO is sadly more well-known than JAWS. The scariest thing about THE REEF? It’s all based on a true story… Contains strong language, violence and gore.

via Shudder TV


Beautiful pictures only do so much to save a film, and while The Reef has some amazing shots of the ocean’s reefs, the movie itself is quite a bore. It is worth mentioning that this film is based on a true story. In 1983, a shrimp boat capsized off the Australian coast. The three on board ended up swimming toward the reef and of those three, Ray Boundy was the only survivor.

The entirety of the film centers on the journey from capsized boat to reef, and as a viewer you get a good feeling for how agonizingly long their journey is. Knowing its a true story does make it a bit more difficult for me to criticize–I don’t want to make it seem like I think little of the victims’ stories. That said, my opinion here is solely on the movie. I felt there was no real build up to the shark attacks and that the way in which the actors behaved was a bit on the silly, near comical side.

Honestly, I think it would have done better if the true story was woven into the plot. Let us see the storm that capsized the boat (rather than the boat just suddenly being under water). Let us feel the tension as these poor, hapless sailors are hunted by a shark. There’s not even any inter-character drama. The majority of the film is literally four people swimming, the occasional shark attack, and surprisingly little blood (at least, that’s how I feel). While I’m quick to watch shark movies, this is one that I probably won’t watch again.

Rating: 💀💀