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A safety tip before you go boating this summer

OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT

The sequel to the low budget indie darling Open Water has a better premise than the original. Instead of a couple wading in water afraid of being eaten by sharks, this is about a group of friends who all jump off a boat in the ocean and don’t have a way to get back on.

Instead of sharks circling helpless humans, helpless humans circle a yacht. To add even more tension, there’s a baby on board. So even if you hate all the characters in the movie and don’t mind if they all drown, there’s that little cute baby who never did anything wrong to anybody. Of course I hoped the baby would stay asleep through at least half of the movie. Luckily the filmmakers felt the same way. The sound of a baby crying doesn’t contribute much to our enjoyment of watching people fight for their lives.

It’s a nice premise, because it’s something that could really happen. I’m not a boater myself, but I assume the design of some of those yachts only allow you to activate a ladder when you’re on the boat. That means at least one person has to stay on it. But after a few Coronas, and a blistering sun begging you to cool off in the water, it’s easy to be forgetful and take a plunge.

For those lucky enough to own boats, I think this isn’t a scenario that happens too often. Like if there’s a powerful storm and everybody gets thrown over, there has to be some kind of apparatus that lets you get back on board. The owners of those boats usually know what to do. That said, the premise of this still seems plausible, because the guy who “owns” the yacht actually doesn’t. He’s just borrowing it from his boss. I don’t think that spoils too much in terms of plot. “Wait…he doesn’t own the boat??” was not the reaction I had during the movie and I don’t think it would be yours either.

Since he doesn’t own it, that means he didn’t go through the safety checklist before setting sail. And hence, why he ends up in the ocean along with the rest of his friends.

It works just like any other horror movie. People die off one by one. For man versus nature tale, it’s fairly unconventional and I don’t remember anything else really like it. For that, it gets big marks for originality. The characters aren’t too interesting, except for one of the guys because he reminded me of Dave Coulier from Full House. Everybody else is fairly douchey which is par for the course on a project like this.

Technically, this is as straight to DVD as it gets. But if I recall the first Open Water was made with a pretty slim budget too. I never saw the first movie, but it wasn’t a requirement for me to fully enjoy this sequel. None of the characters come back, so there is a complete disassociation except for the title and the fact it takes place in a large body of water.

If you find it cheaply, it’s worth watching. Preferably before you go on your next boat trip this summer. Or if your yacht has a TV and a DVD player bring it along with you. It would be like watching “Alive” on a plane ride over the Andes.

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