Dead Calm

Synopsis: An Australian couple take a sailing trip in the Pacific to forget about a terrible accident. While on the open sea, in dead calm, they come across a ship with one survivor who is not at all what he seems.
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Director(s): Phillip Noyce
Production: Warner Home Video
  5 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

Merry Christmas, captain. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, sir. Police told you about the child? Yes, they did. I'm very sorry, but we'll need a formal identification. Yes, of course. I have to warn you... ...most of the injuries were to the face, I'm afraid. The police said that.... That my son died on impact. Is that correct? Not quite. Just after the ambulance arrived. -And how long was that? -He was unconscious, captain. -He wouldn't have been aware of any pain. -How long, doctor? About twenty minutes. Have you ordered x-rays? Yes, they're on their way. -She'll need an urgent CT scan. -It's organized. Decerebrate response? It's her husband. I want you to talk to her. Rae, it's John. Try it again. Rae, it's me. It's John, Rae. Down came the rain And washed poor Wincy out Out came the sunshine And dried up all the rain And Incy-Wincy spider Crawled up the spout again That's a funny one. Will you try it with Mummy now? No. Oh, come on. Incy-Wincy spider Crawled up the water.... Spout! Down came the rain And Washed poor Wincy out -Out came the sunshine -He fell down! And dried up all the rain Danny. Danny, come on, darling. -Get back in your seat. -I've got him. I saved him. Danny! Danny! Mommy! No! No! No! No! It's okay. It's all right. -I was holding him! -I know, I know. John, I could smell his head. Stop it, Rae. Stop it. No, I can't! I'm so scared. I'm so scared. He's gone. He's gone, baby. We can never get him back. Hey. It's gonna take a long time. Now, you know that. They warned us. Let's go home. -Please? -It'll be worse there. -I don't think I can get rid of it. -Yes, you can. No, I can't. Don't say that. Now, look... ...we've got weeks and weeks. Calm days, calm seas. Now, we're gonna get strong. And when you're strong... ...then we'll go home and we'll start again. Won't we, Rae? Say it, Rae. Won't we? Say it, Rae. Won't we? What's wrong, Ben? Come on, mate. What was it? It's nothing. Just the dawn. Is there any wind? Not a whisper. So, what day is it today? I don't know, Thursday or Friday. One of those days with an R in it. Oh, look at that. First boat in three weeks. She's been through some weather, that's for sure. Is there anybody on deck? Not that I can see. I'll call them up. Oh, do you have to? I like it like this. Just the two of us. So do I. But look at her, Rae. That boat's in trouble. Black schooner to my east, black schooner to my east. This is yacht Saracen, Victor Kilo 2-7-6-2. Position 16-16 south, 176-47 west. Do you read me? Over. John! John! -Arf, arf! -Whoa. I thought I saw something between here and the boat. What is it, a turtle? No. It's bigger. -You see anything? -Not yet. Hold on. There it is. It's a dinghy. Adrift? No, there's a man in it. Save it! We'll drop down to you! You hear me? Ship your oars! Get the fender, darling. Stand off! Take it easy. Get him some water, darling. -Not too much. -Okay. -Here you are. -Thanks. My name is Hughie Warriner. -John Ingram. My wife, Rae. -Hi. I'm 32 days outward bound from Papeete. I'm heading for Fiji. I only bought her about three months ago. My plan had been to cruise around the Pacific... sail around the Pacific. Who would have thought, right? What's your trouble? Trouble is she's going down, that's the trouble. She's not gonna last the morning. -Are you sure? -Yeah, she opened up all over. Has the water hit your engine? My engine, the radio... ...the f***ing bulkhead. Galleys. Everything. My only chance was to try to reach you in the dinghy. See what Mr. Warriner needs, darling, and, um, get him to bed. All right. Where are you going? Well, um, I ought to get over there. How many people onboard? Nobody. I'm alone. I'm it. You tried to take her across the Pacific on your own? No. There were six of us. The others died 10 days ago. One by one. It all happened in a day. What happened? Have you ever thought about how life can hinge on the smallest thing? I mean, ever since I was a kid, I thought salmon was for cats. Was it canned salmon? Yeah. At first we thought it was the tourist trots... ...until, uh, Chantal looked at her hand... ...and said Picasso should have painted it. It had seven fingers. Double vision, huh? Sounds like botulism. What's that? It's a lethal form of food poisoning. It hits the nervous system. Hmm. Yeah, well, I tried everything. There's no treatment. Not on a small boat there's not. Not 1200 miles from land. Well, ahem... ...when you're ready, Mr. Warriner. We better go and salvage your gear. My--? My gear? You're looking at it. There's nothing to salvage. Everything was ruined by the water. There must be something. Oh, give me a break, will you? I mean, you know what I had to do? I can guess. You can guess. They've been dead for days. You know what that does to a body? You've gotta try and stop thinking about it. I mean, I.... F***, I can't go back. All right? I can't go back there right now. Ever. That's all right. I understand. Why don't you go to bed and get as much sleep as you can? Thank you. Look, I'm really sorry to ruin your day, you know? -Here? -Yeah, straight ahead. You all right? Yeah. I'm fine. You sure? Mm-hm. Some interesting stuff here. Listen to this: "South Sea Island Cruise. Four young women wanted for photo assignment. Must be attractive and broad-minded." You don't like him, do you? Hadn't really thought about it. John, imagine what he's been through. I'm sorry, Rae. Whichever way I turn it... ...I just can't swallow it. Any reason? Not really. Just 25 years at sea. Shh. I'm going onboard her. You can't do that. He's fast asleep. He won't even know. He will. He'll hear the engine. No, he won't. I'll take the dinghy. Load the gun and keep it with you. Are you serious? Rae, just do as I say, please. Okay. -Back soon. -Bye. Wait a sec. Go on, take it. -One, two.... -Arf! -Shh. Shh. -Arf, arf! Okay... ...go! Bring it back. Come on. Phew. Rae! Rae, I'm sick! I gotta use the bathroom! Rae, I'm nauseated. Please. Rae! I really don't wanna throw up in here. Rae! Sh*t. Jump, Rae! Jump! Jump! No. What are you doing? No. Ow! Ow! Jump, Rae! Jump! Get off, Rae! Leave it! Sh*t. Oh, Ben. Where's John? Now, what? John, my husband. Where is he? He's gone. Oh, sh*t. What have you done to him? Nothing. He went onboard her. We've gotta go back. Look, he's only got himself to blame, right? I mean, he should've trusted me. But that's always been my problem. -Don't you understand? -Please don't shout. That's always been one of my problems. I can never tell people's real motives until it's too late. Okay. Let's just, uh, turn the boat around. -Where shall we go? -Turn around! Hey, look. You're being very aggressive, Rae. That could be a problem on this small boat. I've seen it happen. It doesn't work. You know, I was watching you when you were sleeping. And I gotta tell you that your face fascinates me. Yeah. Even when you're 80, Rae, you'll still be a beautiful woman. I, uh, studied art for, um.... For a time... ...and something I found is that painters, when they approach their subjects... ...they always look at the face from, like, behind, you know? From the back, like, to see what's holding it up. And, uh...'ve got magnificent bone structure. God. "Magnificent." Sh*t, that sounds like... ...f***ing something you'd say at a cocktail party. Should have given you my card, for chrissake. I just knew we'd get along, didn't you, Rae? Hey. What's wrong? -Would you just tell me one thing? -Sure. I just need to know if that boat is sinking. Sinking? -Well, past tense would do, but-- -Oh, God. But, uh, yeah. Yes, it is. Why? Uh, don't you believe me? Yeah. Yeah, I believe you. Of course I do. -That's why we've gotta go back. -Back? -Uh-huh. To get John. -What, you mean back there? Yeah. -Right now. -Uh-huh. No, Rae, no. Okay? That's over. That's all over. So why don't we just erase that one from memory and start again, please? There's no going back, Rae. No. No, don't say that. He's gonna drown, Hughie. There you go. Now you're ruining it again. That boat is sinking. That's not my fault. What about those people, huh? There wasn't any food poisoning, was there? You wanna do this now? All right. They tried to kill me, Rae. They tried to suck the light out of me, if you can possibly grasp that concept. -Who were? -All of them. Look.... Nobody wants to kill you, Hughie-- What? Repeat that. -I said, nobody-- -Say the words, Rae. Come on. -You mean I just imagined it. -No. -No? -No. I just meant that it must be a mistake. A mistake? Lady... ...the mistake is that you think I'm making this up. No! No. No, I don't. You sound so much like them, Rae, it's scary. Now, they were trying to kill me. Do you understand? Yeah. Yeah, I understand. Come on, turn around. Don't look at the bloody boat. Look at me. Okay, I'm sorry. Oh, what are you doing, Hughie? Go away. Okay, ladies, forget the home movie. Listen, if you turn around, you can get these incredible silhouettes. When I want your advice on how to take photographs, I'll ask you. Until then, keep your mouth shut. I'll remember that, but for now, Russell, please. If you move two steps to your left, I can get you with the boat. We'll look at this someday and laugh. Trust me. This is really good. For God's sake, Hughie. Get that bloody camera off me. I take the pictures, Hughie, baby. You dance, I shoot. What the f*** is your problem? Must be the same old thing. This is stereo, Ben. Low production... ...garage music. Survey says.... Come on. Forty-two miles.... Saracen, Saracen, this is Orpheus. Do you read me? Over. Saracen, Saracen, this is-- John? Yes. John? Are you okay? Are you there? Yes, Rae, I'm here. I'm here. Can you hear me? Are you there? Rae, it's me. I'm not reading you. Is that you, John? Are you hurt? What about the boat? It's sinking, isn't it? So that's it. No, you're not hurt and, no, the boat isn't sinking. Is that right? Are you following? John, what should I do? I can't make him turn around. He just won't. Do you want me to stop the boat? Oh, I don't know how. Come on. Look... ...don't worry. I'll work it out. You'll be here soon, won't you? Oh. Score one for Mrs. Ingram. She has a hell of a season ahead of her. Ben, no! No, Ben. Leave it. -Just leave it there. -Fetch, Ben. Come on, bring it here, boy. -All right, bring it here. -Stay, Ben. -Come on. -Tread right there. -Okay, drop it. Drop the key. -Hold the key, Ben. -No, drop it. -Keep it, boy. Over here, then. Come on. Stay, Ben. Tread. -Backstroke. -Come on, Ben. Come on. Aah! That's beautiful bone structure there, Rae. Come on. Good boy. He's a champ, this one. Jump, Ben. Up. Come on, climb. Whoa! That's the way. Thank you. Friends? Yeah. Friends. Come talk to me. Come on, simple man. The camera's rolling. Forget the f***ing vibe. Lose that. Talk to me, Russell. Who are you? Come on, drop the veil. Drop the veil, sucker. Drop your guts. I got the picture. Vietnam, Laos, Castro, Cambodia. Russell Bellows, big, brave war photographer. The man on the edge capturing the face of death. But now, no, now, appearing with his five new refugees. Yes, that's right. Five suckers on a sinking boat. The ultimate session. Moral decay. What 60-minute wet dreams are made of, am I right? Come on in, Russ. The water's great. You got the bloated head. How about the bloated belly? Come out from behind that camera, Russell. Come out from behind that camera. John. John, can you hear me? Saracen to black schooner. Come in, please. Come in, please. John. John, it's me. I got the key up onto the deck, but he.... What's wrong? Are you hurt? Is it the boat? John, is it sinking? Okay. How long? Hours? How many? Two? Four? John, six? I've drained you of your power, Russell. -You've lost. -John? Good night! Six? Six. Okay. I'm gonna be there by sunset. John. I love you. John. John. John, answer me, please. Answer me. John, do you read me? John. John, please. Oh. I've just gotta go to the bathroom. You gotta--? Uh-huh. -Sorry. -Ha. Gotta do what you gotta do. Hmm. -Shh! -Hello? Rae? For later. Uh, yeah, I was gonna say you read my mind. Friends, Rae. -I better put him up on the deck. -Don't worry. Get out of here. No. I better put him up-- Shh. Come on. Ben, go away. -Where are you going? -To get a drink. Mm. Isn't this great? -What? -These lemons, they're just.... Cruising around the South Pacific, just the two of us. -Yup. -Yup. How do I look? -Great. -How do I smell? -Uh.... -Uh-huh. Thank you for your honesty. Nope, no, no, no. What's missing from my life at this moment are the soothing sounds of... ...Julio Iglesias, Joni Mitchell and The Broadway Album. What, Rae, did you get these tapes thrown in free with the knives? He finds it. Yes. That looks good. Mm. Mm, it is. Mm, mm. -Do you want some? -No. -No, come on. -Mm-mm. No thanks. -You do. Come on, have it. -Now, look.... Do you want it? I want it. Thank you. I better go and get dressed. Keep it. Make me another one. Room service. There's a squall coming. We better get the canopy down. Okay. Oh, sh*t. What? Friends, Rae? Friends? Let go. -Unh! -Come on. Good night! Okay. Don't make me. No one's gonna make you. Stay there! I just wanna talk. I found you. Fresh water. That's extravagant. No, you wanna hear extravagant? Yeah. A steaming hot bath... ...that you can slip into up to your ears... ...with coffee and a croissant. A croissant. Covered in... ...bitter and dark marmalade. Oh. And mango. Really, really cold. Mm. Now you're talking. You know what I'd love for lunch? Fresh asparagus. Then, um... ...pasta. Angel-hair pasta. With heaps of basil and garlic and olive oil. And, um... ...ah, apple pie. Yeah. Uh, John... ...have you got the towel?

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Terry Hayes

Terry Hayes (born 8 October 1951) is an English-born screenwriter, producer and author best known for his work with the Kennedy Miller film production house. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Dead Calm" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Feb. 2023. <>.

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