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Film / The Reef

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The Reef is a 2010 Australian horror film, and the second film from director Andrew Traucki.

A group of friends go sailing towards Indonesia, but their boat capsizes in the middle of the ocean when it hits a shallow reef. The group decides that their best option is to swim to Turtle Island, which is located 10 miles away. To get there, they must swim through shark-infested waters, with a great white taking a special interest in them.

Not to be confused with the CG-animated film from 2006.


This film includes the following tropes:

  • Based on a True Story: In real life, there were three people, and the survivor was a male.
  • Big Bad: The Great White shark eating everybody.
  • Cat Scare: A moment comes where they think they're being attacked by the shark, but it turns out to be a dolphin.
  • Definite Article Title
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The opening scenes establish that Luke and Kate are a couple that broke up years ago, with some clear sexual tension.
  • Final Girl: Kate ends up playing this very straight.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Luke sacrifices himself so that Kate survives the final attack.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Matt urges the group to leave after the shark bites off his leg. It's a moot point because he dies of blood loss shortly after.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Three male characters in the movie. None of them survive.
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  • Scenery Porn: Early on, there are some lovely shots of the ocean.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The shark just will not leave them be at all.
  • Technology Marches On: In-universe example. The boat's EPIRB is an older model that can only be picked up if a plane happens to fly over it.
  • Threatening Shark: A large great white shark stalks the group throughout the film.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Moments after being attacked by a shark, Matt swims away from the group to retrieve Kate's bodyboard. Guess who's the first to die.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Inverted. The more feminine and hysterical Suzie dies, while the tomboyish Kate survives.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The movie is based on the events of Ray Boundy, a survivor of a shipwreck that left its crew struggling swim to a reef for safety. Ray found his group being stalked and killed by a shark, leaving him as the sole survivor.


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