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OPEN WATER 2: ADRIFT (2007)

Directed by Hans Horn

Starring Susan May Pratt and Eric Dane

A better-than-mediocre direct to video shocker, "Open Water 2: Adrift" has only one relationship to the now nearly classic "Open Water": It's about one small slip that pits ocean vacationers in a terrifying battle against nature.

A group of hard-partying, 30-something friends head to the seas on one drunken rich guy's yacht. The heroic virgin-like character (May Pratt) brings her baby along with her husband, and is still in the process of getting over a drowning incident she had as a child, so she wears a life preserver the whole trip, even though some of the other revelers laugh at her.

In the first film, things went terribly wrong when a miscount of a SCUBA expedition leaves a couple behind to fend for themselves in the waters of the Carribean. In this film, the party animals jump off the tall yacht -- forgetting a drop a ladder down behind them, trapping them in the water for days! Not surprisingly, to keep the drama going, the characters turn on one another, first blaming the drunken yachtsman (Dane) who forgot to drop the ladder, then fighting over the lone vest, etc.

Although "Open Water" movies barely qualify as horror, they certainly know how to horrify. It's quite anxiety-inducing thinking about the predicament these revelers got theselves into, all the more because the film purports to be based on true events. But the first film was much, much scarier. Sharks made the difference. After about 30 minutes of the characters knocking themselves out in the water and accidentally stabbing one another, things get old pretty fast.

Still, "Adrift" is definitely worth a rental if nothing else interesting drifts past you at the video store.

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