Mourning the tragic loss of their young son, Rae and John Ingram (Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill) take to the open seas with their dog for some peace and healing. Aboard their yacht mid-Pacific, they cross paths with the Orpheus, a sinking schooner whose sole survivor Hughie (Billy Zane) takes refuge with them. Loosely based on Charles Williams’s crackerjack 1963 novel—also the source of Orson Welles’s unfinished film The Deep—Dead Calm is the ultimate in edge-of-your-seat suspense, as John becomes trapped on the submerging vessel while investigating Hughie’s suspect account of the his crew’s demise, as his wife is left alone with a man who becomes progressively more unhinged. Featuring spectacular direction (by Phillip Noyce), cinematography (by the Oscar-winning DP Dean Semler), and performances (by its three leads), particularly a gorgeously natural Kidman in an early breakthrough role, the film is a true terror treat, not to be missed on the big screen.
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