I'll be honest - this is a much better film than I expected. Of course, there will be many comparisons with the fairly recent `Open Water' film. There is a similar concept - a group of people abandoned in the middle of the sea - but `Adrift' has a much, much better concept. This is because with `Open Water' there was no chance of rescue unless another boat wandered by or unless the people on the original charter boat realised their mistake. With `Adrift' salvation and rescue is agonizingly close at hand; it is about 5-6 feet above them on the deck of the yacht. Indeed, with `Open Water' the two characters may or may not be saved - it is down to chance. With `Adrift' (which I think has been promoted as a sequel to Open Water in the U.S.), the characters just need to use their heads and think of ideas to get themselves out of peril.
I'm sure you know the plot by now - a group of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings jump into the ocean without dispensing the ladder of the yacht. With a small baby back on deck, you may think this is far fetched, but it happens in a realistic manner and, instead of saying `this would never happen in real life', you think to yourself `it just shows how dangerous it is to mess around and neglect the little things.' Once they are in the water, it is this set-up that makes `Adrift' a really good film. This is because you naturally put yourself in the same situation and try to think of what they should do. They come up with some very creative solutions for getting back onto the yacht, and, as you watch the film, you're thinking there has to be some way of getting back on the boat. There is - and it is very clever and I'll admit that I didn't think of it.
Like a lot of films with people in jeopardy, the situation is made worse by panic and not working together. As it says in the 1997 Anthony Hopkins film `The Edge', in extreme situations people succumb to panic and indirectly kill themselves. This is the case here and these scenes are handled very well, as is the agony of not being able to help your child who is in need and so close by. There is a slightly silly moment where one of the characters throws a mobile phone away. Apparently it is damaged by the water, but I thought they could have made that a bit clearer and not been so hasty to discard the phone. I hate to keep referencing other films, but it is like when the guy throws the map away in Blair Witch.
All in all, however, this is a highly recommended film. With no big names in the cast, you have no idea who will survive and, if you're watching the film with someone, you'll be asking each other `What would you do?' over and over again.