October 9th, 2014

ADRIFT (1993) ** ½

Kate Jackson goes out sailing with her rich husband Kenneth Welsh. One day, they find Bruce Greenwood and his wacky girlfriend Kelly Rowan in a boat floating adrift in the middle of the sea. They rescue them and welcome the couple aboard, but pretty soon, Kate and Ken realize that their new guests are a pair of psychopaths.

Adrift is a competently made and well-acted made-for-TV thriller that is a bit better than expected. It’s a blatant rip-off of Dead Calm, but it’s one of those cases where the rip-off is actually better than the original inspiration. I’m pretty sure that the overhead establishing shots of the sailboat were taken from Dead Calm too.

Director Christian (Screamers) Duguay keeps things moving at a relatively steady pace and gets about as much mileage out of the premise as one could hope for. The editing by future director Patrick (My Bloody Valentine 3-D) Lussier is also quite good and helps keep the movie (ahem) afloat. The performances by Kate Jackson and Bruce Greenwood certainly help, and Kelly Rowan has a few choice moments as the crazy girlfriend.

Despite a solid set-up, the flick does peter out once Greenwood and Rowan take the couple hostage. The “courtroom” scene in particular is a bit cheesy. Still, there are enough decent moments here to qualify Adrift as one of the better films I’ve watched during The 31 Days of Horror-Ween.

Tomorrow’s Bargain Bin Horror Movie: Salvage.