A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Open Water 3: Cage Dive is technically a sequel to Open Water and Open Water 2 but has nothing to do with the characters in either; it only shares the general "shark attack" concept. Not surprisingly, then, you can expect to see sharks eating people, blood swirling in the water, bloody/gory wounds, and dead bodies. Characters fight, and a woman dies screaming in a fire (shown from a distance). Of the three characters, two are cheating on the other; various combinations of the three kiss/make out. There are other sexy situations (an underwear-clad couple in bed), some sex talk, and ogling of women wearing bikinis or skimpy outfits. Language includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "a--hole," "bitch," and more. Characters drink at a party, and one takes prescription pills. Horror hounds may want to check this out, but be warned: This movie is so bad and the characters are so shallow that you'll likely find yourself rooting for the sharks.
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What's the story?
In OPEN WATER 3, an underwater video camera is found in the ocean, and it has a terrible tale to tell. Josh (Josh Potthoff); his half-brother, Jeff (Joel Hogan); and Jeff's girlfriend, Megan (Megan Peta Hill), plan a trip to visit a cousin in Australia and go cage-diving for sharks. We learn that Josh has some kind of condition that requires regular medicine, and we see that Josh and Megan are secretly having an affair. After some sightseeing and partying, the trio get in their cage and dive. But then a freak wave sinks their boat, and they're stranded in the water. Will their own shortcomings get them before the sharks do?
Is it any good?
With basically no association with Open Water 1 and 2 other than the "stranded with sharks" setup, this sequel is so dreadful that it will have you rooting for the sharks. How else to put a swift end to these superficial, horrible characters? Open Water 3: Cage Dive starts off with the laziest of "found footage" ideas (right out of The Blair Witch Project): an announcement that a camera has been found, with warnings for what we're about to see. Then the movie spends 30 long minutes on land, setting up the characters, who are basically all liars and narcissists. When they finally get into the water, we're asked to believe that a phony-looking "freak wave" causes the trouble.
In the second half, it's the characters' own stupidity and selfishness that sink them -- and those around them -- more so than any shark attacks. This half is barely watchable anyway, with the bobbing, hand-held footage and water lapping up around the sides of the frame, as well as some apparent sound troubles (the dialogue is muffled for a long stretch). Characters sometimes stop to narrate things that we've already seen. During the night sequences, there's nothing to look at (the camera's night vision doesn't work very well or sometimes at all), and it becomes painfully apparent that most of the dialogue consists of the characters yelling each other's names: "Jeff!" "Josh!" "Megan!" At least Open Water 3 is mercifully short.
Talk to your kids about ...
How is sex depicted? What role does cheating/infidelity play in the story? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
Given that the three main characters all lie about various things, how does that affect their likability?
What's the appeal of sharks and shark movies? How does this one compare to others you've seen?
- In theaters: August 11, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: October 10, 2017
- Cast: Joel Hogan, Josh Potthoff, Megan Peta Hill
- Director: Gerald Rascionato
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Ocean Creatures
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and some bloody images
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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