The Reef: Stalked (2022) is the latest shark film to bait

Movie poster for 2022 movie release, The Reef: Stalked. Featuring a girl on a paddleboard frantically escaping a great white shark in the ocean.

Decorative poster for The Reef: Stalked (2022)

Your Deepest Fear Should Be THIS Movie But Not For The Reasons You’d Expect

Directed by: Andrew Traucki

Starring: Teressa Liane, Ann Truong, Saskia Archer, Kate Lister, Tim Ross


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.

Your Deepest Fear Will Eat You Alive

“Your Deepest Fear Will Eat You Alive” is a great tagline for this movie—because that’s just what happens. A woman’s fear of water psychologically eats her alive which, let’s face it, is greatly disappointing for a shark movie. Don’t get me wrong, there is a great white shark, and it circles boats, spooks the main characters, roughs them up, and might even chow on one, but there’s a major lack of blood, guts, and carnage. We don’t want to see fear eating people alive—we want to see sharks eating people alive. Well, in shark movies, anyway.

Drama, drama, drama

The Reef: Stalked (2022) oddly starts off as a murderous thriller, but we’re here for it. We are lured in with shock-factor: a quick, nail-biting, kill scene underwater. Unfortunately, though, it’s the last nail-biting scene in the entire 92-minutes of film. This movie contains plenty of drama, beautiful scenery, some what-ifs, and a lurking shark’s fin in shallow water. So if that’s what you’re into, great—but if you’re hoping to see the calm, turquoise ocean turn a chilling, murky red, you may as well just re-watch Jaws.

Who can we root for?

Like all shark movies, we want a relatable group of disposable characters: the funny one, the eye-candy, the canoodling pair, the dramatic geek, the scatter-brained ninny, the rude bully, and the heroic brave-heart. We like to loath or cherish the characters. We love to guess who will be the first victim, and hope our favourite makes it to the end.

Trust me, just root for the shark…

Admit it, we enjoy hating a character or two so that we can take a moment to root for the shark. But The Reef (2022) doesn’t give us the characters that we hoped for. Instead, we have four ladies with a dry backstory and some daft decisions that put them in avoidable peril—and the script is so tedious that you only hope they each become the shark’s appetiser, palette cleanser, main, and dessert. Unfortunately though, the shark only came for a starter. And then ‘stalked’ his other bites for the remainder of the film with so little suspense that you end up clockwatching.

As for the should-be main star who took a backseat, the shark is okay, CGI-wise. But, he didn’t put on his best scary performance, and he needs to toughen up if he can eat a whole grownup but not a little girl. Note: We are glad the child is alright—it’s just those main gals we wanted gone.


Overall, The Reef: Stalked (2022) has a pointless backstory, a slow build-up, zero suspense, ultra-boring characters, a major lack of shark, and not enough blood and guts. Essentially, it is a drama that uses the shark idea as bait to nab some viewers.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

By Rachel Turner