by FilmInk Staff

The Reef: Stalked is a sequel that is not a sequel, and if you look a bit deeper, you will find some not so subtle social commentary in the film about society’s abuse epidemic.

Appropriately, the films that changed Andrew Traucki’s life reflect his obsessions as a filmmaker.

Blue Velvet

David Lynch and Blue Velvet were a huge influence on me. Indeed, in my first film, Black Water, I paid homage to Blue Velvet by having a severed ear in it. There was something about Lynch’s dystopian suburbia, with its twisted other-world characters, that really resonated with me. It left me feeling that nowhere, not even middle-class suburbia, was safe; just scratch the surface and you’ll discover a dark, seedy underworld. Love that film.


For me, Alfred Hitchcock is truly the master of suspense. Whilst writing my thriller scripts, I always make sure to re-watch his films so as to remember to not get carried away with action but rather to put the emphasis on suspense. Like Hitchcock, rather than show, I like to suggest. Rather than use action, I think the anticipation of the action is much more interesting. My favourite Hitchcock film is Psycho. I love editing, so of course I love the notorious shower scene, but Psycho is so much more than that, a real psycho sexual journey into the mind of a killer.

Taxi Driver

The social “realism” of Taxi Driver really hit me and once again reinforced for me, that “truth” is stronger than fiction. It’s a such a gritty film, a story about rejection and urban decay that never gets cliched or sentimental but rather remains “real” and grim to its conclusion. It’s also a masterpiece of characterisation with Travis Bickle becoming, at least for me, the injured everyman that is brutalised by the system. Add to this a compelling political thriller plotline and it’s no wonder that Taxi Driver is considered a classic.

Open Water

This film was crucial in getting me started in the film industry. A larger film I had written had just fallen over, I was devastated and realised that to get going in this industry, I had to start with a lower budget idea. I had heard about Open Water, and that it was made for very little. I started watching it and was totally inspired, then I look across my living room and there was a blow-up crocodile, don’t ask… I put the two together and very soon I was researching and writing my first feature, Black Water.

Pan’s Labyrinth

I love this film, the way Guillermo del Toro blended reality with fantasy into a dream world of terror, violence and beauty whilst still telling a gripping story. It really opened my eyes to a new way of storytelling.


I am a big western fan (especially anything by Anthony Mann) and this for me is the film that modernised the western and brought it back to life. There are so many layers to this film; it’s a fable of great moral complexity, a film that keeps things “real” and is all the better for it. It’s also a great story and allegorical commentary on life and the American way.

Evil Dead

Sure, it turns into a crazy splatter fest, but what a soundtrack! I remember at one stage whilst watching this film walking away from the screen, the soundtrack without an image was totally electrifying and gripping. For me, this is such a sonic film, it truly opened my ears to what a soundtrack can do in film, especially a low budget film. All hail sound and the power of suggestion!!

Get Out

I love elevated thrillers and this for me is one of the best in a while. Sure, there might be a crazy premise at the heart of this film but the journey to get there is brilliant. Get Out is so much more than a horror film, it’s a beautifully crafted commentary on the insidious nature of racism. It is a unique film which truly elevates the thriller to another realm.

The Reef: Stalked is in cinemas July 28, 2022


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