Adrift (2006)

Richard Speight Jr. and Susan May Pratt in Adrift (2006)

A Pratt Overboard

In the UK and I believe much of Europe "Open Water 2: Adrift" is purely known as "Adrift" which in some ways is a good thing because as of writing I haven't seen the first "Open Water" and probably wouldn't have watched this if I new it was a sequel. Having said that to call "Adrift" a sequel would be wrong because the storyline is not connected to the first movie other than it is similar in theme with an incident at sea leaving people stranded.

Now my expectations of "Adrift" were not that high prior to watching because the write up I read made it sound like a cliche horror where a prank backfires during a weekend where a group of friends have fun aboard a yacht. It is probably why I ended up quite enjoying it despite struggling to believe the opening text which claimed it was based upon a true story because it was not some daft horror. Instead we have a movie which attempts to create a sense of tension and doom after a prank backfires and leaves these friends in dire trouble and at times it achieves it.

Eric Dane as Dan in Adrift (2006)

5 years after their last get together Dan (Eric Dane) and girlfriend Michelle (Cameron Richardson) invites Lauren (Ali Hillis), Zach (Niklaus Lange) and Amy (Susan May Pratt) along with Amy's husband James (Richard Speight Jr.) and their young baby to join them on his yacht to celebrate Zach's birthday. It means that Amy has to confront her phobia of the ocean which stems from a childhood traumatic event but with a life preserver firmly tied on she does. That is until they stop in the middle of nowhere to have a swim and Dan throws Amy in not realising how panic stricken she would become. But that is not the worse of it because no one put a ladder down over the side and everyone is stuck in the sea with no way to get back in whilst Amy and James's baby daughter is all alone in the cabin.

In fairness "Adrift" starts of a bit ropely with some crappy scenes of home video which as we discover is meant to illustrate that Dan sometimes does stupid things which back fire. But the good news is that when we get to these old friends reuniting it doesn't mess around with too much padding before we get to the main situation of all of them overboard and no way to back on. Having said that a throw away sex scene does little to inspire and you have to question why Amy who has a paralysing fear of the ocean would agree to get on the yacht in the first place.

Anyway what the focus quickly becomes is on the desperate attempts to survive the cold water and try and get back on the yacht. There are injuries to contend with, the cold affecting those who are skinny and tension between everyone especially with Dan when it comes to the precious yacht. None of it is that surprising and to be honest is a bit too melodramatic but it does have atmosphere and a sense of despair which makes up for some of the more unbelievable elements and moments of utter stupidity. Oh and of course because of Amy's phobia, which we learn relatively quickly comes from a traumatic experience as a child, you can guess that she will be pivotal as the movie meanders to a less than surprising ending.

Now in a way the characters themselves are disappointing because we have various stereotypes such as Dan the flash git who is a bit immature when it comes to doing the right thing and his shallow girlfriend. But the acting isn't bad with both Susan May Pratt as Amy and Ali Hillis as Lauren impressing thanks to their characters having a level headedness which some of the others are lacking.

What this all boils down to is that I quite enjoyed "Adrift", it's by no means great but it does have some atmosphere. But then I haven't seen "Open Water" and I would imagine if I had I wouldn't have been so entertained.