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Adrift - Review

Adrift

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary; Making Of Featurette; Theatrical Trailer.

FROM the outset, Han Horn’s Adrift suffers from obvious comparisons to 2003’s Open Water given its central premise of people being stranded at sea with little or no hope of rescue.

But while Open Water placed two divers in the middle of shark-infested waters, Adrift places six thrill-seekers at the mercy of the sea and each other after they forget to drop the ladder down from their luxury yacht while going for a swim.

Hence, the yacht in question lies permanently just out of reach and brings with it a different kind of dilemma – namely, the presence of a baby who has been left to sleep on board while her parents are at play.

The six people in question are comprised of playboy yacht owner Dan (Eric Dane), his trophy girlfriend, Michelle (Cameron Richardson), husband-and-wife James and Amy (Richard Speight Jnr and Susan May Pratt) and their long-time friends Zach (Niklaus Lange) and Lauren (Ali Hillis).

Once in the water, the group must try and find a way to get back on the yacht while coming to terms with their own petty rivalries and anxieties.

Amy, for instance, is afraid of water (we won’t reveal how she comes to be in the sea), while Dan is more concerned with his own ego and group appearance than taking things seriously. His floozy girlfriend, Michelle, is merely hysterical as she pleads with the group to help her survive.

As if their predicament wasn’t tense enough, Amy’s baby starts crying but remains frustratingly out of reach.

Adrift certainly has its moments and there’s no denying the film toys with its audience in the same “what would I do?” manner as Open Water, particularly as both claim to be based on real events.

But it’s nowhere near as gripping as Chris Kentis’ thriller largely because it’s characters are just too shallow.

Only Pratt’s Amy engages on an emotional level, while the likes of Dan and Michelle are just plain annoying.

The near-constant bickering of the actors also gets on your nerves, especially when coupled with the screams of Amy’s baby.

Director Horn’s decision to have them shed their swimming costumes at one point also feels borderline voyeuristic (especially in light of some lingering shots), while his ambiguous ending is wholly unsatisfying and doesn’t really bring any sense of closure.

The result is a film that feels more like an endurance test. It’s gripping in places but ultimately becomes as stranded as its characters.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 95 mins