It's a perfect day for a dive. The sky is clear, the weather is fine, and there's no better way two experienced sister divers could spend time together than in an underwater world. It's obvious May (Louisa Krause) has been away for a while and not been in touch with the family. She seems withdrawn and aloof. Drew (Sophie Lowe) on the other hand is bubbly and exuberant and playful like a child. The sisters are nothing like each other, but they have a close relationship, if a little complex.
As she explores on her own during their dive, May hears a thundering sound and calls out to Drew and asks if she can hear it. Suddenly May is hit by a rock, and it's not long before she realises it came from a landslide above water, and is soon caught under countless cascading rocks dropping into the ocean. She's trapped, her legs wedged under a huge rock neither sister can lift. She lies 28 meters below, held down by debris, unable to move, 20 mins of oxygen, and only her sister to rely on. A sister who is used to being the princess in the family, and leaves all the problem-solving to her older sibling. However, oxygen levels are low, and the temperature is cold. It's up to Drew to fight for her sister's life. It's going to be a frantic race for survival in an isolated landscape, with no one around. Meanwhile, pinned to the bottom of the ocean, May must face her own psychological battle in the midst of imminent death staring her in the face. Time is running out.
Directed by Maximillian Erlenwein, the film will be in cinemas 2 November 2023.
Without a doubt, it's a beautiful location with the camera panning from afar, taking in the breathtaking landscape while reinforcing its isolation. We travel the lonely roads along the clifftops with two sisters who catch up annually, thanks to Drew insisting May goes on a little trip with her each year, even if May seems rather poker-faced about it all. Through their personalities, it is well established that May is the responsible one, and Drew, a little scattered but happy. An outlook May wishes she had, but has lost along the way. She spends all of the film in a dour manner that leaves no doubt, however, it is never really fully explained as to why she is so burdened psychologically and emotionally, nor why she is estranged from her family. Her only saving grace is that she's calm and sensible and in a moment of life and death, is able to talk her young sister through a life-threatening situation.
Drew does all the heavy lifting in trying to save her sister, racing up and down distances looking for help, yet you can't help but be annoyed at her flakey demeanour. And if the aim of the film is to get that reaction out of the audience where you literally want to shake some sense into her, then Sophie Lowe's performance has been stellar. Considering the story has all the components to make it a tight, thrilling, tense, and intense film, it falls short miserably, in spite of the fact that the clock is ticking. It was like watching what was happening unfold, rather than being emotionally invested in rooting for a positive outcome. It's rather routine with nothing interesting enough to make it a standout! There's nothing here that grabs your emotions with any intensity or urgency whatsoever.