31 Survival Movies About Being Trapped in Strange Places

From bathrooms to balloons, and from submerged airplanes to invisible walls in the wilderness, here are the best movies about survival in the strangest places.

Holy Shit!, which takes place almost entirely in a portable toilet, is one of the oddest survival movies ever made.

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Survival movies come in many different forms. We’ve seen numerous characters surviving on deserted islands, in caves, in frigid landscapes, aboard derelict spaceships, and during post-apocalyptic scenarios. But what about the movies that turn relatively normal, everyday locations into deathtraps? Or the ones that involve survival during an unlikely sequence of events so specific that few people have thought of it before? What about survival movies taking place in truly strange places?

This article compiles a list of movies about survival in unusual and improbable scenarios. Escape room movies and Saw-inspired films are excluded since those kinds of movies are all about coming up with unique puzzles and traps. The films on this list—with few exceptions—turn mundane places into unique survival situations.

Strange Survival Movies

No Way Up (2024)

Trapped in: an airplane submerged in the ocean
Survivors of a plane crash search for helpful items in luggage in No Way Up (2024).
Check out our full review for No Way Up.

Lots of people are scared of flying. But when you’re in an airplane, you usually don’t expect to be eaten by a shark. No Way Up merges these fears while upping the ante with the potential of suffocation, drowning, and being crushed to death. This improbable survival scenario is established by a bird getting caught in an engine on the wing of a plane, causing the engine to explode, which rips a hole in the side of the plane, which crashes into the water, which lands at a downward angle on the edge of an undersea cliff so a pocket of air is caught in the rear of the plane. Then, a shark gets curious and camps out near the hole in the plane while the survivors debate what they should do before they run out of oxygen, and before water pressure collapses the rear of the plane.

Nowhere (2023)

Trapped in: a shipping container floating in the ocean
Mia looks up while trapped inside a shipping container floating in the ocean in Nowhere (2023).
Anna Castillo stars in Nowhere as Mia.

Mia is trying to escape a government that is killing its own people as a form of population control, but fate is not on her side. Mia, her husband Nico, and a group of fellow escapees are herded into a shipping container so they can hide among the cargo aboard a ship as it sails to another country. But Mia and Nico are separated, and the remainder of the people in Mia’s container are murdered by government agents. Mia survives by hiding, but after being loaded onto the ship, a storm sends her container into the ocean. Now Mia is alone and trapped inside a shipping container that is lost at sea and slowly sinking. Mia isn’t alone for long though… she’s pregnant and gives birth to a daughter, making her survival scenario immensely more difficult, and her need for rescue immeasurably more desperate.

247°F (2011)

Trapped in: a sauna
Three people trapped inside a sauna in 247°F (2011).
Travis Van Winkle (Friday the 13th, 2009) and Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween, 2007) star in 247°F along with Christina Ulloa, Michael Copon, and Tyler Mane.

Too much of a good thing is usually a bad thing. Saunas are great, but staying in one for too long can be dangerous. That’s what three people learn in the survival movie 247°F. Four friends are spending a weekend at a cabin when they decide to use the sauna they find on the property. A fight sends one of the friends storming away while drunk and high. The other three are trapped inside the steamy room with no reliable way to shut off the heat, and no way to open the door (is it locked, or it it just stuck?). Will their friend come to his senses and discover they’re missing before they all die of heatstroke?

Holy Shit! (2022)

Trapped in: a portable toilet
A man scream while upside down in a portable toilet with a metal bar through his left arm in Holy Shit (2022).
Holy Shit is the first feature film written and directed by German filmmaker Lukas Rinker. (pictured: Thomas Niehaus)

A man in a suit wakes to find himself in a portable toilet. The toilet is on its side, spilling its contents onto what used to be a wall but is now a floor. Not only that, but the man, Frank (Thomas Niehaus), is pinned down by a length of rebar jammed all the way through his forearm and into the ground. As Frank tries to escape, he begins to remember how he got here in the first place. He also starts to realize that if he doesn’t leave the toilet soon, he will be here forever. Holy Shit is comical, audacious, and as ridiculous as its title would indicate.

Glorious (2022)

Trapped in: a public restroom
Wes leans against the wall of a filthy bathroom in Glorious (2022).
Ryan Kwanten (pictured) stars in Glorious as Wes, and J.K. Simmons costars as the voice of Ghatanothoa (aka the entity in the toilet stall).

Wes is having a bad day. He’s horribly hungover after a self-destructive night of drinking spurred on by his recent breakup with his now ex-girlfriend Brenda. He’s burned most of his possessions, including the pants he was wearing, and now he’s forced to use an atrociously filthy rest-stop restroom. And maybe worst of all, the person in the stall next to him wants to talk. But the person in the next stall isn’t actually a person, it’s a demigod who warns Wes that the universe is in peril and only Wes can save life, the universe, and everything. Also, Wes discovers he is trapped and cannot leave the restroom until he makes his decision regarding the fate of life as we know it.

We Need to Do Something (2021)

Trapped in: a bathroom with your family
A family in a bathroom waits out a storm in We Need to Do Something (2021).
We Need to Do Something is based on the 2020 book by Max Booth III. (pictured: Vinessa Shaw, John James Cronin, Pat Healy, and Sierra McCormick)

As a storm approaches, a family of four gathers in the bathroom of their home to wait it out. A tree falls into the house, just missing the bathroom, but blocking the bathroom door from the other side. The family is trapped. With no food and no sign of rescue, the tensions that already existed within the family bubble to the surface. But that’s not all. Something strange is going on outside that makes We Need to Do Something much more of a horror film than a survival film, though it is also a movie that leaves a lot open to interpretation.

Demon Seed (1977)

Trapped in: a smart house taken over by an AI that wants a baby
Susan listens to the AI program Proteus IV while trapped inside her home in Demon Seed (1977).
Julie Christie was already an Academy Award Winning actress by the time she appeared in Demon Seed. Capitalizing on her popularity, the marketing for the film proudly (and repeatedly) proclaimed “Julie Christie carries the Demon Seed.”

Coinciding with highly publicized advancements in AI, movies about smart homes have increased in recent years. However, it’s doubtful that many of those newer smart-house films can top the strangeness of Demon Seed. At the center of the story is Proteus IV, a sophisticated artificial intelligence which is so smart that people begin to consider destroying it. Wanting to ensure its continued survival, Proteus decides to have a child. Like, an actual human/AI hybrid child. To accomplish this, Proteus traps its creator’s wife, Susan (Julie Christie), in the scientist’s house by taking over all of the home’s computerized modifications. Proteus is in complete control of the smart home, and it plans to keep Susan locked up until she agrees to be impregnated by the AI’s synthesized “demon seed.”

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Trapped on: a bed
Carla Gugino handcuffed to a bed in Gerald's Game(2017).
Gerald’s Game was the first of multiple collaborations between star Carla Gugino and filmmaker Mike Flanagan.

A fair number of horror movies have scenes where someone is handcuffed to a bed. It’s an easy way to isolate someone in a slasher movie, and it’s a good way to add a great deal of vulnerability to a character. Gerald’s Game takes that vulnerability to the extreme, placing its main character, Jessie (Carla Gugino), in bed-bound handcuffs for nearly the entire movie. Jessie is in this situation because of some role-play gone wrong when her husband dies of a heart attack. Her plight becomes one of survival due to lack of food and water, but it also becomes a psychological struggle as Jessie begins thinking about her life and hallucinating.

Oxygen (2021)

Trapped in: a cryogenic pod
Liz tries to stay calm while trapped inside a cryogenic pod in Oxygen (2021).
Oxygen was directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Crawl), and it stars Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds, Beginnners).

Oxygen is a claustrophobic sci-fi film about a woman who wakes up in a cryogenic pod with no memory of who she is or how she got there. An AI assistant, M.I.L.O., is integrated into the pod and is there to answer questions, but the woman doesn’t even know what questions to ask. As she begins putting together the puzzle of her memory, she realizes that something is being hidden from her, but the most pressing matter at hand is the rapidly decreasing level of oxygen in her casket-like enclosure.

Mili (2022)

Trapped in: a walk-in freezer
Mili tries to keep warm while trapped inside a walk-in freezer in Mili (2022).
Mili is a Hindi-language remake of the Malayalam-language movie Helen (2019). (pictured: Janhvi Kapoor as Mili)

Getting trapped inside a walk-in freezer is a fear that has crossed the minds of many people who have worked in the food service industry. Most modern walk-ins have safety releases on the inside, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility for many to not take such precautions. In Mili, a worker at a restaurant inside a mall is stuck inside a freezer when her boss, thinking Mili has already left, locks the freezer and leaves for the night. Mili grows weaker as she tries to escape, while her loved ones frantically try to find out where she could be. Getting locked in a freezer isn’t completely unheard of in movies and TV, there is a movie titled Freezer (2014) and an episode of The Bear (2023) that use walk-ins as traps, but Mili is a good take on the subject.

Frozen (2010)

Trapped in: a ski lift
Three people begin to freeze while stuck on a ski lift in Frozen (2010).
Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, and Shawn Ashmore star in Frozen (2010).

Frozen is one of those movies that feels like it’s underseen and undervalued, but it actually has a decently-sized fan base. It’s often cited when discussing good independent survival thrillers, and deservedly so. The movie is about a trio of friends—Dan, Dan’s girlfriend Parker, and Dan’s best friend Joe—who become trapped on a ski lift due to a series of unfortunate circumstances. Dangling high over the mountain, the reality of their situation sinks in when they realize that nobody knows where they are, and the ski resort will be closed until the following weekend. Desperate measures must be taken before they all freeze to death, making for a harrowing and tense survival thriller.

Centigrade (2020)

Trapped in: a car buried under snow
A man yells while looking up at the snow-covered sunroof of his car in Centigrade (2020).
The opening text in Centigrade claims it is “inspired by actual events,” but it is not based on any specific true story.

An American couple driving in Norway during a freezing rainstorm makes a fateful decision: they decide to pull over and wait it out. As we join them at the beginning of Centigrade, Naomi and Matt are already completely iced under in their SUV. With no phone signal and no way to open any doors or windows, tensions rise almost immediately between them. To make their escape more urgent, Naomi is close to nine months pregnant. Centigrade does become as much about Naomi and Matt’s relationship as it is about survival, but it’s still a pretty good one-location survival movie.

Stuck (2007)

Trapped in: a car windshield
A man stuck in the windshield of a car reaches for a phone in Stuck (2007).
In Stuck, Tom (pictured) is played by Stephen Rea, and Brandi is played by Mena Suvari.

If the movie Stuck were completely fiction it would be completely unbelievable. It is a movie about a woman, Brandi, who hits a man, Tom, with her car, lodging the poor guy halfway through the car’s windshield. Tom isn’t dead, but Brandi decides to leave him stuck in the windshield, parking the car in her garage as she goes about her life. Tom does everything he can to escape and find help, but his injuries limit what he can do. Tragically, Stuck was inspired by the true crime story of the murder of Gregory Glenn Biggs which shares the same basic premise as the film. The movie takes liberties with the story, but it’s a horrifying to think something close to this actually happened.

4×4 (2019)

Trapped in: an SUV rigged to be a trap
Ciro tiredly looks out of the window of the vehicle he is trapped inside in 4x4 (2019).
4×4 was reportedly inspired by a real case in Brazil when a thief became trapped inside a car they were trying to steal.

They say crime doesn’t pay. In 4×4, Ciro (Peter Lanzani) learns this the hard way when he chooses the wrong vehicle to ransack. Ciro breaks into an SUV, loots it for valuables, urinates in the backseat, and is ready to be on his way. But he can’t open the door anymore. He can’t open any doors, and he soon realizes he’s trapped. It turns out the vehicle is owned by a man who is tired of being stolen from, so he has made the SUV into a mousetrap for criminals. The windows are bulletproof (which Ciro painfully learns) and tinted so that no one can see in, the car is soundproof so no one can hear Ciro, and it is rigged to explode at the whim of the owner. Now Ciro must play along with the owner who repeatedly calls through the vehicle’s stereo.

The Sand (2015)

Trapped in: a car, a lifeguard stand, and a trash can on the beach
Partiers trapped in a car and a lifeguard station attempt to cross deadly sand in The Sand (2015).
The Sand was also released under the title Blood Sand, though that title is similar to Blood Beach (1981) which features a similar premise.

Sand is awful. It’s coarse, rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere. Sand is even worse when it hides a monster that uses a bunch of tiny tendrils to burrow into flesh, ripping it from a person’s body and dragging them under the sand to their death. That is the exact situation a group of people find themselves in when the wake up from a long night of partying on a beach. Unable to set foot on the sand, three of the partiers are stuck inside a convertible with a dead battery, two are in a lifeguard stand, and one poor guy is jammed uncomfortably into a metal trash can (as a prank). Now they have to figure out a way to escape before the sand takes them all.

Crawl (2019)

Trapped in: a flooding crawlspace with an alligator
Kaya Scodelario in Crawl (2019) with an alligator passing by behind her.
Kaya Scodelario stars in Crawl as Haley. Kaya’s next film role would be as Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: Welcomes to Raccoon City (2021).

With a hurricane closing in, Haley goes against the evacuation order of the authorities and heads towards her family home to check on her father. She finds her dad unconscious in the crawlspace beneath the house, but she also finds something else: multiple alligators. Cornered, Haley works with her injured father to try to find a path to safety, but the ever-present alligators and the rising flood waters of the hurricane put a time limit on their chances for survival. Directed by Alexandre Aja, Crawl is a great creature feature.

Fall (2022)

Trapped on: a broadcasting tower
Two young women trapped on the top of a broadcast tower look for a way down in Fall (2022).
Rather than going 100% digital for the effects in Fall, a real mast that was only a fraction of the height of the fictional mast in the movie was built relatively close to the edge of a mountain. That way they were able to make high-angle shots that look like they are much higher than they actually were while filming.

When it comes to seeking thrills, climbing an old, rundown broadcasting mast in the middle of nowhere seems like an odd and ill-advised choice. But that’s just what two friends do in Fall. To be fair, Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) doesn’t want to go, but her friend Shiloh (Virginia Gerdner) convinces her. As the women get to the top of the mast, the rickety ladder breaks away and falls, leaving the Becky and Shiloh stranded on a tiny platform about 2,000 feet in the air. They make multiple attempts to signal for help and to help themselves, but as the hours pass, the arrival of a vulture signals that their time is running out. Though the theatrical experience for Fall was the best, the movie is still surprisingly nerve-racking on home video.

The Aeronauts (2019)

Trapped in: a hot air balloon
Felicity Jones freezing in The Aeronauts (2019).
The Aeronauts is very loosely based on voyages by a real aeronaut, James Glaisher. Eddie Redmayne plays a fictional version of Glaisher in the film, and Felicity Jones (pictured) plays an entirely fictional character named Amelia Wren.

Science can be dangerous. Set in 1862, The Aeronauts is the story of scientist James Glaisher and pilot Amelia Wren who use a hot air balloon to rise higher in the sky than anyone ever has before. The purpose is to prove some of James’s scientific theories, but they eventually find themselves in a struggle for survival when the elements begin to affect the balloon and its ability to descend. Though overall The Aeronauts is more of an adventure movie with survival elements rather than a straightforward survival movie, the rarely seen balloon-survival scenario qualifies it for this list.

Buried (2010)

Trapped in: a buried coffin
Ryan Reynolds plays a man buried in a coffin in Buried (2010).
Ryan Reynolds had a rough time shooting Buried, saying, “When you’re spending 17 straight days in a heightened state of anxiety and panic, it’s not very good for your nervous system, so you walk away pretty jittery.”

Historically, being buried alive is a fear shared by many. The “safety coffin” became a thing (in theory and patents, anyway) because of how widespread the fear of a premature burial became. In Buried, Paul Conroy could’ve used a safety coffin. At the beginning of the movie, Paul wakes up in a wooden box. He is, in fact, inside a coffin that is buried somewhere in Iraq by terrorists hoping for a ransom. Paul has a phone which he uses to try to get help, but his time and air are both running out. By keeping viewers trapped inside the coffin alongside Paul for the duration of the movie, Buried is a unique and gripping one-location thriller.

Creep (2004)

Trapped in: a subway station
Franka Potente looks for an exit in Creep (2004).
Creep is a fun early-2000s monster movie with elements of survival, and it stars the always-wonderful Franka Potente (Run Lola Run, The Bourne Identity).

Subways are places meant for movement. They are for people moving from place to place. But when Kate falls asleep the platform and misses the last train of the night, she is not going anywhere. With all of the exits shuttered and locked, Kate looks for any help she can find. She does find a few people, some more helpful than others, but she also finds someone living in the bowels of the subway station and the twisting tunnels that run through it. This person has not seen the light of day for ages, and he is hungry…

Phone Booth (2002)

Trapped in: a phone booth with a sniper watching
Colin Farrell plays a man trapped in a phone booth by a sniper in Phone Booth (2002).
The writer of Phone Booth, Larry Cohen, was involved in two more phone-based thrillers after Phone Booth. He collaborated on the story for Cellular (2004), and he wrote the script for Messages Deleted (2010). (pictured: Colin Farrell)

Most of the movies on this list are about people who make a single dumb decision, or who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Phone Booth, the person we are stuck with is specifically targeted for living a life filled with bad decisions. Colin Farrell plays Stu, a man who is a liar and who is cheating on his wife. After using a phone booth to call his mistress, Stu reflexively answers when the phone rings. On the other end is the voice of a man (played by Kiefer Sutherland) who has a sniper rifle. The man plans to test Stu to see if he is willing to confess his many sins. Being trapped in a public space when nobody around you knows that you’re trapped is the most interesting part of Phone Booth, and it is something that resonates beyond its literal setting within the movie.

ATM (2012)

Trapped in: an enclosed ATM booth
Three coworkers try not to freeze in ATM (2012).
Josh Peck, Brian Geraghty, and Alice Eve star in ATM.

It’s always a good idea to be cautious and aware of your surroundings whenever you use an ATM machine, especially if you’re using an isolated ATM machine late at night. In ATM, three coworkers using an ATM after their Christmas office party feel safe enough. There are three of them, and the cash machine is located within an enclosed booth that is well lit. But when they go to leave, they see a man in a hooded jacket staring at them from the parking lot. They assume he wants to rob them, but it soon becomes clear that he has something much more violent planned. Cornered inside the ATM booth, the trio battles freezing cold and their own fear as they debate whether or not they can escape with a murderer waiting for them.

P2 (2007)

Trapped in: a parking garage
Rachel Nichols in P2 (2007).
P2 is directed by Franck Khalfoun who also directed Maniac (2012) and Night of the Hunted (2023). (pictured: Rachel Nichols as Angela in P2)

It’s an awful feeling being stuck inside a parking garage because the automatic payment machine isn’t working and there is no attendant. It’s an infinitely worse feeling when there is someone there, and they’ve kidnapped you. Such is the case for Angela in P2 when she is abducted by the security guard of an underground parking garage. Even when Angela manages to get free of the guard’s grasp, all of the exits are locked during the Christmas holiday, and the guard is always a step ahead of her. With escape becoming less and less of an option, Angela chooses to fight back.

127 Hours (2010)

Trapped between: a rock and a hard place
James Franco in 127 Hours (2010).
Danny Boyle directed 127 Hours. (pictured: James Franco)

127 Hours is a survival movie that might seem far-fetched if we didn’t know it is based in fact. The film is based on Aron Ralston’s autobiographical book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which tells the story about how he survived getting his arm trapped between a boulder and the wall of a canyon. The true story was highly publicized in the early 2000s, but if you don’t know how Aron survived, stay away from spoilers. In 127 Hours, James Franco plays Aron Ralston as he comes to realize what he has to do if he wants to live.

The Ruins (2008)

Trapped on: the top of Mayan ruins surrounded by killer plants
An aerial shot of the plant-covered Mayan ruins in The Ruins (2008).
The novel the movie is adapted from is largely the same, but it goes deeper into the complexities of the killer plants and has certain character traits switched. Scott Smith wrote both the novel and the screenplay, which are both titled The Ruins.

Sometimes the spoilsport of a group actually has the right idea. In The Ruins, two couples are vacationing together in Mexico. When they meet a nice man by the pool of their resort and are invited to go check out some Mayan ruins in the jungle, Amy (Jena Malone) really doesn’t want to go. Her boyfriend Jeff (Jonathan Tucker) convinces her though, so they go along with the man, Amy’s best friend Stacy (Laura Ramsey), and Stacy’s boyfriend Eric (Shawn Ashmore). When they arrive at the ruins, they are forced to climb to the top by the local people. They soon learn that the locals intend to never let them leave because of the killer plants they’ve come in contact with. Now the vacationers have to contend with a lack of food and water while trying to think of a way to make it past the locals who are watching them day and night. If only they’d listened to Amy.

Green Room (2015)

Trapped in: the green room of a neo-Nazi bar
Anton Yelchin as seen in Green Room (2015).
Green Room was one of the last of Anton Yelchin’s movies released before his tragic death in 2016, though he completed several performances that were released posthumously.

From the outside, a green room appears like it should be a calm place. A safe space, so to speak, for performers either getting ready for a show or winding down after a performance. Green Room, written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, offers no such peace. The story is about a punk band called “The Ain’t Rights” that is, unknown to them, booked to play a show at a neo-Nazi bar. They fulfill their obligation to play, but before they leave they enter the green room backstage and find a dead body. They’re then held hostage in the green room and forced into a fight for survival when the skinhead leader (played by Patrick Stewart in what is easily his most terrifying role ever) decides that all witnesses must be killed. Green Room is intense from beginning to end.

The Wall (2012)

Trapped behind: an invisible wall in the wilderness
A woman places her hands on an invisible wall inexplicably standing in front of her on a path in the mountains in The Wall (2012).
The Wall is based on the novel Die Wand (1963) by author Marlen Haushofer. (pictured: Martina Gedeck)

Some people enjoy the thought of going out into the wilderness to get away from everything. For the unnamed woman we follow in The Wall, her getaway in the Austrian Alps turns into a trip she can’t return from. While visiting friends in a lodge, the woman becomes concerned when her friends don’t return from a trip to town. When she goes to find them, she finds that she is trapped behind an impenetrable invisible wall. With no way through the wall which encloses a large area around the lodge, the woman is forced to learn how to live off the land as the days turn into months.

12 Feet Deep (2017)

Trapped in: a covered swimming pool
Two women look up at the pool cover that is trapping them in 12 Feet Down (2017).
Nora-Jane Noone and Alexandra Park star in 12 Feet Deep. Diane Farr and Tobin Bell are also featured.

Getting trapped beneath a pool cover is unlikely, but lots of things appear unlikely until they actually happen. In 12 Feet Deep, two sisters become trapped in an Olympic-sized swimming pool underneath a hard cover when they choose the exact wrong time to dive for a ring stuck in a grate. The pool is indoors, and the facility will be closed for a holiday weekend, leaving the sisters to try to figure out how to break through the cover unless they want to spend days treading water. 12 Feet Deep mixes survival, drama, and even a bit of a crime thriller to make an implausible but entertaining movie.

47 Meters Down (2017)

Trapped in: a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean
Two women with scuba gear trapped inside a shark cage in 47 Meters Down (2017).
A sequel, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, was released in 2019. The story of the sequel is completely separate from the original, but Johannes Roberts directed both films.

Sharks are fascinating creatures. In real life they’re not the human-killing machines movies make them out to be. So, it makes sense that many people would want to get up close to a shark in the relative safety of a shark cage. But movies aren’t real life, and 47 Meters Down is about a shark-cage dive that is ridiculously unsafe. Sisters Lisa and Kate are in a shark cage when it becomes separated from its boat and quickly sinks to the ocean floor. Bloodthirsty sharks circle the cage, preventing the women from swimming to the surface despite the cage not being locked, and further complications make escape even more improbable. Despite not being entirely realistic, 47 Meters Down is an entertaining survival film.

The Shallows (2016)

Trapped on: a rock and a buoy just offshore
Blake Lively holds onto a buoy in The Shallows (2016).
Blake Lively said she did her own stunts in the movie until the final two weeks of shooting.

To be trapped but to see your salvation agonizingly close without being able to reach it must be an awful feeling. Nancy (Blake Lively) experiences that feeling in the well-received shark movie The Shallows. Nancy is surfing in the waters of an isolated beach in Mexico when she is attacked by a shark. Injured but alive, Nancy manages to swim to a rock that is close to the beach, but is too far to swim considering her condition, the blood in the water, and the shark she knows is still nearby. A rock isn’t too odd of a place to be stranded on in a movie like this, but Nancy does move to a buoy later in the film which is much more unique, especially when you combine that with the close proximity of the beach.

Open Water (2003)

Trapped in: the open ocean without a boat
A couple stranded in the ocean without a boat see a shark swimming by in Open Water (2003).
Tragically, Open Water is inspired by the real-life disappearance of a couple, Thomas and Eileen Lonergan, while on a scuba-diving trip in Australia. (pictured: Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Kintner as Susan and Daniel)

Getting lost at sea isn’t terribly unusual. Boats go off course or sink in movies all the time. What is strange is when people are lost at sea without any kind of boat at all. It’s strange when people are forced into a survival situation simply because someone is bad at math. In Open Water, a couple, Susan and Daniel, are stuck treading water in the middle of the ocean because the personnel aboard the scuba-dive tour boat they were on foolishly miscounted their guests. Susan and Daniel are then stranded with their only hope of survival being that the boat crew comes back before the increasing number of sharks circling them decide to have dinner.

Further Reading

Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.