I don’t think anyone who has seen Jaws will hear the first bars of the theme without a shiver running down their spine. Spielberg created a film which made a whole generation think twice about whether it’s safe to go back into the water. It spawned a number of imitations and inspired a raft of new filmmakers. The likes of The Reef, Open Water, The Meg and The Shallows demonstrate that shark films are as popular as ever. Great White is another impressive addition to this unlikely sub-genre.
Kaz (Katrina Bowden) and Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko) are having financial problems, which isn’t helped by the revelation that she’s pregnant. They run seaplane trips but are struggling to attract customers. They jump at the opportunity when a rich couple (Kimie Tsukakoshi and Tim Kano) charter them for a trip. A relaxing day out starts to go horribly wrong when they discover the corpse of the victim of a shark attack and go in search of their boat.
Great White manages to balance elements of drama and action to create a superior shark attack film. This is achieved by director Martin Wilson making the most of the resources at his disposal. Whilst the basic story is nothing new, the cast are decent enough to make you believe in the danger. There’s impressive effects work on show but the decision to rely more on the unseen in order to build tension works really well. Great White is a tense and taut thriller.
Great White is released on DVD and Digital on 17 May.