I really liked Open Water, the 2003 independent film about a married couple who surface from scuba diving, miles off shore, to discover they've been abandoned by their tour boat. It was a risky movie to make: after all, nearly all the film was shot with two actors neck-deep in water, dog-paddling for their lives in shark infested waters.
Based on a true story, Open Water was original, intense and tragic.
I loved it!
Open Water 2: Adrift never made it to theaters, going instead straight to DVD. That doesn't dissuade me, really. After all, I watched a Morgan Freeman/Kevin Spacey straight-to-Blockbuster-flick a few months ago.
Of course, it was awful and I hated it. I'm just saying...
I was eager to see Adrift because of how much I enjoyed the first Open Water. I knew it had nothing to do with the original, but the idea of being alone and helpless at sea is scarier to me than movies about zombies or werewolves.
Because it's possible.
Adrift centered on five former high school friends who reunite to celebrate a birthday. Four of the five are now couples--two are married with a small child, and two others are dating--while one of the thirty something still lives like a nineteen-year-old. Impulsive, and moment-to-moment. The impulsive one, played by Eric Dane, gathers the group on a yacht and heads out into the blue. After some drinking, the adults hop into the ocean for a quick swim. Everyone is having a grand ol' time until someone realizes:
They forgot to put down the freaking ladder!
The yacht--it's not a boat, as Dane's character likes to remind his friends--is impossible to climb. For hours the group tries to get back on board, fighting anxiety, distress and each other. Some fall victim to tragedy, others overcome severe fear to brave through the dilemma.
Adrift isn't a great movie, but it's enjoyable if you like almost-bloodless thrillers. The ending is predictable, and the acting is average. But midway through, I realized I was holding my breath.
That's not a bad indicator that a movie works.