Day 13 – Dead Calm (1989)

Something that has kept me sane during the chaos of the last 10 months or however long it’s been is my weekly horror movie club. I love horror, and sometimes I can’t stop talking about it. I have a few friends who are the same way, so we decided to share the joy of horror with each other every week. It’s something I’d definitely recommend doing. The movie we watched tonight is one my friend, Tess, has been recommending for a while.

Released in 1989, Dead Calm stars Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, and Billy Zane. After John and Rae Ingram suffer the tragedy of losing their child, they decide to take a peaceful trip on a sailboat. In the middle of the ocean, they happen upon a sinking boat and a strange man anxiously rowing away from it on a dinghy. The Ingrams (Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill) soon find out this man, Hughie (Billy Zane), is crazy and dangerous. As Joe is returning from the sinking boat, Hughie takes Rae hostage and speeds away, leaving Joe behind. We watch as the Ingrams struggle to reunite without getting killed.

If you want to watch a movie that stresses you out the entire time, this one is it. From baby Ingram’s shocking death in the beginning to the explosive conclusion, there are only a few moments in this movie when you’re able to relax. Even in those moments, you’re suspicious of how quiet and peaceful things are. Billy Zane really sells the deranged tendencies of his character, keeping you from ever knowing what he is going to do next. After chasing Rae around the sailboat and banging on the door of the room she’s shut herself in, he just cracks a little smile when she finally opens the door and asks, “Friends?” Aside from that, he isn’t bad to look at. Tess said it best, he puts the “hot” in “psychotic.”

Most might consider this a thriller, but I would say it sneaks over the horror line a little bit with the amount of dead bodies and blood we see. I’m actually not even sure how many dead bodies I saw, so yeah it’s a horror movie. Spoiler alert: a dog does die in this movie, so prepare yourself for that. I recommend this movie, especially if you need a break from the cold, dreary winter. I’m glad I finally got to watch it.

This clip is in Spanish, but it’s not important what is said.

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