On more than two occasions, I have mentioned that I am a huge fan of movies with small budgets, shot in a reduced number of locations, and without special effects. If you can entertain a crowd for the total length of a film under those conditions, you are a real filmmaker and storyteller. And they can make money, too, like the widely successful "The Blair Witch Project" (1999). In 2004, a very smart film that fulfills those requisites, and that I truly enjoyed, was the riveting "Open Water," which was critically acclaimed and had a good box-office. Following its success, another electrifying installment, "Open Water 2 - Adrift", was made a couple years later. Now, thanks to Lionsgate, both titles are available in one spectacular Blu-Ray set.
Based on true events, and written and directed by Chris Kentis, "Open Water" is about a couple that goes to the Caribbean to spend a holiday. Once there, they decide to go scuba-diving with a group of like-minded people. The boat goes far away from the coast in search of a great spot, which they eventually find. However, at the end of the activity, the person doing the head count of the participants inadvertently missed the couple, leaving them behind in the middle of nowhere. As you can imagine, terror follows, as these two human beings try to stay afloat and get help. On the other hand, "Open Water 2 - Adrift", which is also based on true events, but helmed by Hans Horn, follows a situation similar to that of its predecessor, but is more ambitious, as it involves more people. Here, three couples, one of them with a baby, sail on a yacht in Mexico. While at the ocean, they stop for a swim; one problem takes you to next, and none of the vacationers are able to get climb back to the yacht. So, the six humans beings are on their own at sea, trying survive together, all this while the baby stayed alone on the boat. As you can imagine, both stories in both movies make for great, imaginative, and full-of- possibilities suspense.
The cast in "Open Water" and "Open Water 2 - Adrift" was composed mostly of unknown actors, which worked out well, because the stories and directions were strong enough to carry the films. You decide which one you like most. The Blu-ray edition of "Open Water" includes audio commentary by cinematographers Laura Lau and Chris Kentis, and actors Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis; deleted scenes; and a making-of feature. "Open Water 2 - Adrift" includes a making-of documentary. "Open Water" (USA, 2004, color, 81 min plus additional materials), "Open Water 2 - Adrift" (Germany, 2006, color, 94 min plus additional materials).
Reviewed on October 18, 2010 exclusively by Eric Gonzalez for [...]