Old friends out of their comfortable depth, the 75 foot yacht Bella Wood home for a few days to husband and wife David and Viviane Cooper and their host John Livingstone who was the best friend of David’s recently deceased brother Danny, it is a watery wake fuelled by beer, vodka, tequila, rum and resentment.
A trip to the Virgin Islands proposed by John to allow David to breathe in the sea air and exhale his problems, the former Marine is suffering from symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, his temper flaring and his relationships with both Viviane and John suffering.
A floating powder-keg of trouble not helped by John’s adversarial approach to on-the-waves and off-the-cuff therapy in which David does not wish to participate, an electrical fault leaves them stranded without engines or radio, lost at sea with only one other vessel sighted, belonging to the sinister Sam McLean.
Directed by Chris Helton, Dead Water is a film of manly men doing manly things like bottling up their feelings as they knock back bottles of beer and refuse to take their prescribed medication while the aftershocks of their war experiences, their recent bereavement and their own aging threatens to swamp them.
A hideous mermaid hybrid of Dead Calm and The Deer Hunter which is two tails and no head, Starship Troopers’ Casper Van Dien, Self/Less‘ Griff Furst and True Blood‘s Brianne Davis take the challenge of making the best of Jason Usry’s unimaginative script which washes up every cliché without flair while Judd Nelson’s intruder has less character than his cameo in Moonlighting.
A thriller without thrills which presents a whirlpool of toxic masculinity without ever seeming to be aware it is doing so, Dead Water is a chore similar to scrubbing the decks, the central trio difficult and unlikeable without ever being interesting, trailing in the chop of the similarly structured Harpoon which told almost the same story with vicious wit and the merciless inevitability of the sea.
Dead Water will be available on DVD and download from Monday 5th October