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Film / Adrift (2006)

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Adrift is a 2006 survival thriller film directed by Hans Horn. The film was inspired by a short story of the same name by Japanese author Koji Suzuki, from which it took its title, but its promotional material claimed the film was based on actual events.

The film is about a group of friends who go on a boating holiday, only to find themselves trapped in the ocean next to their yacht, unable to climb back aboard as they forgot to put the boarding ladder down. They spend their time alternating between bickering and trying to look for a solution before they all drown.

Due to its similar plot to the movie Open Water, the film was marketed under the title Open Water 2: Adrift in some countries to capitalize on the original's success, although the productions are not related. The movie later received a Portuguese remake in 2016 under the name Perdidos.

Also not to be confused with the 2018 film of the same name. Or with the 2016's space-based exploration game Adr1ft.

This film provides examples of:

  • Didn't Think This Through: Yes, jumping off a boat while the boat does not have a bolt in ladder will backfire hard.
  • Gainax Ending: The main character is finally able to get on the boat to safety! Only to find out that the other guy has decided to swim away to drown himself? And then she jumps back into the ocean to save him in slow motion. And then several flashbacks of her as a child go by. And then a blinding white light. And then it shows a boat passing by the ship and it's completely empty. And then it shows the main character standing on the ship with the other guy lying on the ground, only the boat passing by them is not there. Then it goes to the credits. What.
    • Bittersweet Ending: The Portuguese ending is far more logical than the 2006 film: Ana (Amy's Portuguese counterpart) and her son (Sarah's Portuguese counter part) end up being the only survivors of the trip and they both are saved by a fisherman, but it's clear that Ana, while happy to be reunited with her son, is very much in a bad state of mind after what happened.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Played with and seemed unlikely, but baby Sarah does survive by the end of it and found by some fishermen, although crying either out of hunger or being left alone again due to her mother leaving her and undergoing an implied Gainax Ending.
  • Karma Houdini: Dan is a Jerkass who grabs aquaphobic Amy and jumps with her into the water (thus kicking off the ordeal), pops Michelle's dolphin floatie, botches the swimsuit-rope attempt and ends up mortally wounding Zach trying to protect a boat he lied about owning. Naturally he survives, and only after an 11th hour suicide attempt where Amy has to face her worst fear just to rescue him.
  • In Name Only: Adrift was rebranded, post-production, as Open Water 2: Adrift to cash in on the original's popularity. It in turn was followed by another unofficial sequel, Open Water 3.
  • Last Grasp at Life: As seen in the poster.
  • Mr. Fanservice: At one point the characters in Adrift remove their swimwear to fashion a crude rope. Lots of male nudity ensues.
  • No Antagonist: Given the film's nature as a Dolled-Up Installment of Open Water, one might be expecting sharks or something similarly scary to show up and menace the protagonists. Nope, it's just them being trapped on the open sea and not being able to get back on their boat or get help in time. Although there's a false alarm at least once, the real threat isn't something trying to eat them but drowning.
  • Only Sane Man: James is the only one who doesn't act like a complete idiot at some point, having gone into the water after friends. He later tries to break off a piece of the propeller to use that and the knife to get back up on the boat. He ends up fracturing his skull, which sadly brings him down to everyone else's intelligence level before ultimately killing him.
  • Threatening Shark: Actually averted as they don't encounter any sharks, although there is still tension due to the possibility that one will show up, which leads to a Jump Scare.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • All the characters in Adrift, especially the idiot who grabbed the woman who was afraid of water and jumped in without putting the ladder down first. Some of the others (James, Lauren) could be excused because there were other people on the boat when they went into the water.
    • And when they're actually in the water, not one of them considers the obvious solution: Lift one of the smaller, lighter women up onto the boat and have them lower the ladder. Dan and Amy do eventually do this, but it's the last plan that they come up with as opposed to the first.
  • The Unreveal: We never learn what happened to Lauren after she swam away.