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Dead Calm

By Jeff Shannon

There are several occasions when this rousing Australian thriller from 1987 should have ended with a well-placed shot from a speargun or a stronger knot of rope, but you don't think about these nit-picky details when you're being scared out of your wits. In a role that catapulted her to international stardom, Nicole Kidman plays a young wife who's joined her husband (Sam Neill) on a yachting trip to recover from the tragic death of their son. Far out to sea, they encounter a sinking ship with one survivor (Billy Zane, ten years before Titanic), but inviting him aboard turns out to be a very bad mistake. While Neill attempts to salvage the sinking boat, Kidman is fighting for her life against the psychotic Zane--a villain so creepy that you eagerly look forward to his demise. By the time that moment arrives director Phillip Noyce has resorted to a typical slasher-movie climax (proving that no boat should be without a flare gun), but until then Dead Calm is a nail-biting thriller that's guaranteed to keep you in a state of nail-biting suspense. To accommodate the widescreen compositions on the open ocean, the DVD offers the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Phillip Noyce

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane

Released: April 7, 1989

Availability: DVD VHS


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