I typically love nature versus humans type of films, so I was eager to check out RLJE Films and Shudder’s new horror feature, Great White. I don’t think any shark film compares to Jaws, but there are quite a few out there that are worth a watch. Written by Michael Boughen (Dying Breed), Great White was the feature directorial debut of Martin Wilson (read our interview – HERE). It stars Katrina Bowden (Piranha 3DD, “30 Rock”), Aaron Jakubenko (“Tidelands”), Kimie Tsukakoshi (Riptide), Tim Kano (“Neighbours”), and Te Kohe Tuhaka (Love and Monsters, “The Dead Lands”).
Synopsis for Great White
A blissful tourist trip turns into a nightmare when five seaplane passengers are stranded miles from shore. In a desperate bid for survival, the group try to make it to land before they either run out of supplies or are taken by a menacing terror lurking just beneath the surface.
Great White is your typical open water type of film in which a group of people finds themselves in a deadly situation: stranded on the water with a killer shark hunting them. None of the characters are that likable at first, but you begin to care about them as the story goes on, although there’s one rotten egg in the bunch. As always, they continue to make a handful or more bad decisions until they make the right one. Although the film is very anti-climatic, I did appreciate how they managed to stick together and try to work things and you don’t know who is going to live or die.
All of the performances were good, but I believe Kimie Tsukakoshi stole the show with her character development. She starts out shy and submissive but turns out to be quite the badass and shows her true colors and strength in a life or death situation.
For a killer shark story, this isn’t a very bloody film, but I actually appreciated that. Don’t get me wrong, I love blood and gore, but shark films tend to be overdone with extreme special effects and this was more subtle and realistic. I would have loved to see more of the shark, but then it again not seeing, also made it more mysterious and unsure when it was going to attack.
Overall, I found this film more of a psychological drama than a thriller or horror, but it was definitely more authentic and less cheesy than other shark films we’ve had over the last couple of years. Great White will be available exclusively to stream on Shudder starting on Thursday, November 11, 2021. As a Shudder exclusive, the platform will be the only subscription service that will carry the film in the U.S. and Canada. Be sure to check it out!