In this episode of Castle Talk, Jason chats with Andrew Traucki, writer/director of The Reef: Stalked from RLJE Films and Shudder, in theaters and streaming on Shudder on July 29. Written and directed by Traucki (Black Water: Abyss), the film stars Teressa Liane ("The Vampire Diaries"), Ann Truong ("Cowboy Bebop"), Saskia Archer (Boshack), Kate Lister ("Clickbait"), and Tim Ross ("Rock Island Mysteries").
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In The Reef: Stalked , in an effort to heal after witnessing her sister's horrific murder, Nic travels to a tropical resort with her friends for a kayaking and diving adventure. Only hours into their expedition, the women are stalked and then attacked by a great white shark. To survive they will need to band together and Nic will have to overcome her post-traumatic stress, face her fears and slay the monster.
It's no secret that making a film whose suspense relies on a shark presents challenges like few other topics– the greatest of all shark adventures, Jaws, has cooly ruled the waters since 1975. But what's happened since then, the director explained, is a whole genre that he was keen to avoid– sharksploitation, the often-funny absurd shark films that began with Sharknado and have included titles like Santa Jaws and Sharks of the Corn.
In the chat, Traucki says he wanted to avoid all that. The Reef: Stalked is a story of ordinary folk– sisters on a diving trip to reconnect after a violent tragedy– who deal with an animal that acts as just that, animals that can be a source of terror when they act like themselves. The suspense is tight and effective– we cringe one of the characters dangles their legs in the water anytime on the diving trip.
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Jason Henderson hosts the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the "Castle of Horror Anthology" series editor. The newest volume is Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 8: Thinly Veiled 80s. He is the author of The Serpent's Nest: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His most recent book is 18 Miles from Town: a Midlife Crisis Thriller.