Rating 2½

Directed by Hans Horn

Written by Adam Kreutner and David Mitchell, with additional dialogue by Collin McMahon and Richard Speight Jr

Starring Susan May Pratt, Eric Dane, Richard Speight Jr, Ali Hillis, Niklaus Lange and Cameron Richardson

A group of old high school friends reunite to celebrating the thirtieth birthday of Zach (Nicklaus Lange) and spend a weekend on a luxurious yacht out in open sea. When they find themselves cast adrift from the vessel and unable to get back onboard they are plunged into a desperate struggle for survival.


In 2004 the husband and wife team of director Chris Kentis and producer Laura Lau made ‘Open Water’, a film based on a true story of two people who found themselves stranded out in open water off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Their bodies have never been recovered. That film reportedly cost just $130,000 to make. It went on to gross nearly $55 million at the box office. It would therefore come as no surprise to learn that a second film followed, exploring a similar theme. Outside of the UK, ‘Adrift’ is known as ‘Open Water 2: Adrift’. It’s a German production, although English language, and was first released in September 2006. It did not receive a theatrical run in the U.S., being released direct to DVD in February 2007.

I have never seen ‘Open Water’, so I cannot compare the two films. ‘Adrift’ is well made and reasonably effective, although I cannot say I felt any emotional connection at all with any of the characters. The situation and the way in which they become cast adrift would seem to be plausible enough. What isn’t especially plausible is why the character Amy (Susan May Pratt), who apparently suffers from a severe phobia about open water, would actually go on this trip in the first place and take her baby with her.

The film does succumb to a degree of tedium at times, which is perhaps to be expected; basically, we are watching a group of people bobbing about in open water for 90 minutes and there is not much more to it than that. I don’t know that I would want to watch it again, but it was reasonably entertaining watched once.

Review posted 28 March 2009


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