Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Open Water (2003)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Open Water (2003)

In writer/director Chris Kentis' effectively suspenseful, low-budget, indie film shark tale:

  • the relationship between a vacationing and stressed-out married couple, Susan Watkins (Blanchard Ryan) and Daniel Kintner (Daniel Travis), before signing up for an ill-fated diving expedition in the Caribbean - on their first night on vacation, she wasn't in the mood for sex due to stress: "A little stressed still, l guess...Yeah, work, life"; when he asked: "Maybe l can get you to think of something else," she replied: "l might not be in the mood...Yeah, l'm not in the mood...Sorry. l'm just tired"; after he agreed that they had had a long day, she suggested that they just talk, but then he responded that they probably should get to sleep
  • after a fun and carefree dive near their Reef Explorer tour boat at a dive site known as Magic Kingdom, they realized - in an incredibly realistic situation that they had been left behind ("Daniel, where's the boat?"); when an improper head count had been taken before leaving, the couple found themselves (after surfacing) stranded in open Bahamas water about 15 miles off-shore: (Susan: "You've gotta be kidding me") - they vainly attempted to wave at the boat far in the distance
  • as the sun began to set about two hours later, they saw a quick glimpse of a fin slice through the water ("Daniel, was that a shark?") - Susan's first view of an entire shark was terrifying ("Oh, Jesus Christ. l thought he said they never come that close"); Daniel tried to be reassuring ("It's gone. lt was probably just curious. A couple of bodies floatin' out in the middle of nowhere, l'm sure that's not something he sees every day")
  • problems multiplied - Susan was stung by jellyfish, and then Daniel was also bitten on his legs and hand ("the f--ker really stung me. lt hurts"); they realized their predicament: (Susan: "l've just never heard of anything so f--ked up in my entire life. Who's ever heard of two people getting left in the middle of the ocean before?" Daniel: "I have actually...Dive magazines. It's a lot more common than you think"); they soon became nauseous in the waves and dehydrated, and after dozing on the surface, they drifted apart
  • after seven hours in the water, Susan felt pain from a cut on the back of her left leg (through her wetsuit), causing blood to seep into the water and small "cleaner fish" to peck at the wound; although Daniel knew it was a shark bite, he jokingly told Susan: "lf it was a shark, your leg would be gone...At most, it was a teeny, little barracuda just checking to see if you tasted good"
  • and then, predatory sharks ("big ones") began to circle them for the majority of the rest of the film; in a great jump-scare, Daniel saw one up-close when he looked underwater; the climax came when Daniel was also seriously bitten (he exclaimed: "l'm bit. The f--ker bit me...God, it f--king hurts"), and Susan tied her weight belt around his leg as a tourniquet; but then during a night-time thunderstorm (with the screen totally dark except for a few flashes of lightning), Daniel bled to death after he recited the Lord's Prayer; Susan screamed: "You don't leave me out here by myself"; soon after, sharks attacked his corpse and ripped it apart in a feeding frenzy
Circling Shark
Inspecting Susan's Cut Leg Underwater
  • faced with the inevitable for herself, Susan removed her scuba gear and deliberately and calmly suicidally sank to drown herself before the sharks attacked her too
  • in the final ironic sequence during the scrolling of the closing credits, a curious fisherman cut open a dead shark's belly on a wooden table on the dock; when Daniel's yellow underwater diving camera was discovered, he commented innocently: "Check it out (laughter)...Man, they really do eat anything. l wonder if it works") - the film's final line of dialogue

The Night Before

Fun Dive

"Where's the boat?"

Fear of "Big Ones" in the Water - Jump-Scare

Blood in the Water After Daniel's Fatal Shark Bite

Susan's Deliberate Suicide


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