HomeHorroriHorror Chats It Up With Andrew Traucki On His New

    iHorror Chats It Up With Andrew Traucki On His New

    Another shark film? That was the first thing that came to mind when I was aware that this film was coming out. I then realized it was a sequel to The Reef, which was released in 2010. I stopped for a moment and thought, “well, The Reef wasn’t a bad film by any means; it was a decent shark movie from what I could remember, so why the hell not? I’ll give it a try!”

    A still of the shark from the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

    After watching The Reef: Stalked, my first impressions were stressful, heart-thumping, bone-chilling, and a superb storyline due to the conflict immediately injected into the story. I was drawn into the story right away, and as much as I hate to admit this (not because I didn’t enjoy the film), I had to pause it several times.

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    The suspense involving the shark was a bit overbearing; however, I still enjoyed every minute of it. Isn’t this why we watch these types of films? The writing was on point, it was beautifully shot on location in Australia, and I enjoyed the character arches as they developed throughout the film’s ninety-minute run time.

    The actors conjured up some raw emotions, and I imagined that was quite the stretch in an unpredictable setting. The shark’s predatory habits were pretty realistic, and I didn’t feel that there was ever any temptation to be overdramatic and sensationalize the attacks.

    (L-R) Ann Truong as Jodie, Saskia Archer as Annie and Teressa Liane as Nic in the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

    The Reef: Stalked is a high recommend, just as good as the original, and an excellent watch for the summer season! Be sure to check it out.

    In Theaters, On Digital, On Demand and Streaming on Shudder July 29, 2022 

    Run Time: 90 minutes| Rating: NR

    Synopsis: 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.

    Writer & Director – Andrew Traucki

    A Quick Chat With Writer & Director – Andrew Traucki

    I had a wonderful time speaking with Andrew about The Reef: Stalked. Even though I had significant technical difficulties, I was ecstatic to have this opportunity to bring our interview to the page. As always, it’s never enough time. I hope that you all enjoy it.

    iHorror: How difficult was it to film on location?

    Andrew Traucki: You know it was pretty difficult; we were in the water all day which no human body should have to endure. Being in the tropics, the air temperature was all right. The climate change got kind of weird at times with this being the driest part of the east coast of Australia, and then it would be raining, and then the winds would pick up, and wind in the water is not good, especially when you are holding up reflector boards and things like that. It was really quite difficult. One of the poor camera assistants stepped on a stingray and got a barb stuck in her leg; one day, there was an actual shark on set, lucky that we weren’t in the water that day. So yeah, it’s not easy to film in an actual location that is full of water.

    iH: Andrew, how does the original Reef compare to The Reef: Stalked? Did you have an idea for this film while doing the first one?

    AT: Yeah, I think what I have done was I’ve tried to keep the same sense of realism and survival thriller engine going. What I’ve tried to do this time was to add another layer of trauma and the relationships of the woman and address the notion of domestic violence and elevate it a bit more and give it a second level, and that is sort of my feeling about it, what do you feel?

    iH: I liked this film better than I thought I would, and I think that it is a totally separate entity from the first one.

    AT: Interesting, yeah, I think you’re right. The first one was like a documentary, almost like survival, whereas this is more like a traditional drama

    (L-R) Teressa Liane as Nic, Ann Truong as Jodie, Kate Lister as Lisa and Saskia Archer as Annie in horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, and RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder

    iH: Did you shoot the shark footage yourself, or did a separate crew do that?

    AT: Yeah, most of it was a separate crew.

    iH: At times when the shark was actually biting a prop, how was that accomplished? Did you build it around the actual shark, or did you just put the prop out there, or was it just movie magic?

    AT: Yeah, it’s just movie magic. [Chuckles]

    iH: [Laughs] Well, it looked pretty convincing.

    AT: Good, I am glad. That’s what I wanted to hear.

    iH: Were the actors in the water with the shark at any time or near the shark?

    AT: [Smiles] Movie Magic.

    iH: You did it well; I just need to commend you; they were marvelous, and I really loved them. The thought of them dying from the shark was just horrible, so you did a great job with writing with their personalities, and the conflict was just great. The movie was just great, and I know that people are going to love it.

    AT: Thank you, Ryan. The women in the film were just a wonderful cast; you know, they brought just so much to the role; I agree with you; I think they are wonderful.

    (L-R) Ann Truong as Jodie, Kate Lister as Lisa, Teressa Liane as Nic and Saskia Archer as Annie in the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

    iH: What do you have next in the pipeline?

    AT: I have a black comedy called Melodica Vampire Slayer, which I describe as Spinal Tap meets Dracula. I’d really love to make that because I know it will be a hoot. So, yeah, I am really also looking for scripts that are elevated thrillers. I am always looking for those, and that is what’s on my radar at the moment.

    iH: Well, that is awesome, a little bit different from this film. I had mentioned to one of our other writers that I would be speaking with you today, and a question that he wanted me to ask you was, “What were the challenges of coming up with something new in the shark genre since there are so many these days?

    AT: That’s a good question. Obviously, it’s been ten years between films, so it’s not easy for me. I am not really into shark exploitation in all these sorts of films; I am really not interested in that so much. It is kind of fun for a while, and then I think it becomes repetitive, so I don’t mind watching one or two, and then it’s like, ‘yeah, I think I have seen this.’ For me, it is always about something new and that is interesting that will grab me. If it has the shark in it, that’s fine, and if it hasn’t, that’s fine as well.

    (L-R) Teressa Liane as Nic, Saskia Archer as Annie and Ann Truong as Jodie in the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

    iH: I think that happens a lot, people go in thinking it is going to be the same beats, and this film wasn’t that, and that was really refreshing. What was the most challenging part of filming this movie?

    AT: That’s a good question. The shoot was challenging. We really just didn’t have enough time for the amount of stuff that I wanted to shoot. It is always a tug of war, the tension between being creative and the money trying to make sure that it all happens and on budget, so that was quite stressful. In post, I guess the edit wasn’t working very well for a while, and then we finally cracked it, and that was good. So, yeah, I guess the shoot was the most stressful.

    iH: Alright, it looks like my time is up; and I really appreciate you taking the time out; and I do apologize for all of the technical difficulties that I had.

    AT: That’s all right, Ryan, thank you.

    iH: Alright, sir, you have a good one.

    AT: You too, cheers.

    A still of the shark from the horror film, THE REEF: STALKED, an RLJE Films/SHUDDER release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films and Shudder.

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