The Red Right Hand

In The Water No One Can Hear You Scream

Hans Horn
Susan May Pratt
Richard Speight Jr.
Nicklaus Lange
Cameron Richardson

Open Water was a fairly dull film. It had its moments, but overall, it was just two people floating about crying for an hour and a half. How could they have made a sequel to that? If you don't know, they die at the end of the first film, it's not really a sequel just another adventure on the high seas. This is why it's being marketed across Europe as Adrift or Godspeed (the name of the yacht), only in the US is it riding on the sales of Chris Kentis' original.

With a completely new cast, crew and down $20,000 from the original's low budget, German-born director Hans Horn has taken it upon himself to write and direct this atrocious piece of cinema. Everything about this film is absurd, from the ridiculous attempts to get back onto the boat, to the excruciating pace of the story. I'm getting ahead of myself, sorry. Let's go back to the start. The film opens with a brief camcorder clip of four 25 year olds on some beach, somewhere - drunk and fooling around - followed by a quick skip 5 years down the line and a stupidly inappropriate lite-rock track. We discover our four leads have gone their separate ways and grown up and apart. Reunited on Dan's [Dane] yacht, everyone gets reacquainted and drinking commences - let's face it, you're young, American and out on the Mexican sea, what else are they going to do? Dan's current love interest, Michelle [Richardson], decides to go for a swim; suddenly everyone's in the water, except Amy [Pratt] who's sort-of looking after her baby daughter but also terrified of the water. Dan decides to playfully jump overboard, with Amy in his arms. Slipping into a slightly catatonic state, Amy can't physically adjust to being submerged; staring blankly into the sky as her husband, James [Speight], holds her in a desperate attempt to rouse her. Fingers are pointed and voices raised. As they swim about the boat it becomes clear that there's no ladder. Everyone starts to panic as they realise the deck is too high to reach and there's no way back on board.

The premise is simple enough and I'm convinced that all boats have to legally have port holes in case of this exact event - evidently not. The problem is that this movie has been so badly written that all the attempts to get back on the boat are completely and insanely stupid that you just want them to die. Every character is infuriating and shallow, you don't learn anything about them, bar a few flashbacks to explain Amy's fear. Every time they try to do something you can't help but slap your forehead in shock and disbelief that just because one attempt didn't work, they have to think of something else. To give you an idea: it's decided to make a lasso out of swim-wear, so having stripped bare and hooked the side of the boat, they send the burliest of the group up first, surely one of the skinny girls should have gone! Even when he gets to the top, he's clawing at the deck and completely ignoring the pole right in front of him - ridiculous! The rope tears under the weight and he falls back into the water; they don't try again, mind you, they just let the rope go. Another example, you say? Zach's [Lange] phone starts to ring in his trouser pocket, which just so happens to be peaking off the side - for some reason he has a signal - having grabbed the phone and dunked it in the water he believes it 'fried' and throws it away in a fit of rage.... he threw... the phone... away!

Walking away from the screening all I could do was shout furiously about every small, niggling point that stuck into my mind. I dissected the entire film for how awful it was. The whole thing was under 90 minutes but felt like an eternity. There was no arch, no developments; the outcome is not only confusing, it's ridiculous. All cliches and character stereotypes are played out fully, the fearful one overcomes her past, the slutty one is useless and dies first, the birthday boy confesses his love for his friend before dying... even writing this review is making me mad! I will spare you a 4,000 word swearing rant by simply saying, this film is one of the worst of the year, if not the worst film of the decade! My most hated feature is Alone In The Dark, for the fact that it took a successful video game series and pissed all over it, this is in close second. No budget means no action, no sharks, no plot, no...anything for 95 minutes but it doesn't have to be that way! SO BAD!

Release Date:
1st September 2006

The Scene To Look Out For:
It's just them in the water for over an hour! How am I supposed to pick a single scene out of all that pointless sodding splashing!?

Notable Characters:
The baby - did I forget to mention that? James and Amy have a baby girl, Sarah [Mattea Gabarretta] who's on the yacht, screaming and crying all the time. She's the least annoying character even if she is wailing throughout, it's always fun to watch the cuts to her, seeing that magical pacifier; sometimes it's in her mouth, sometimes it's next to her, then it's gone completely - well edited Hans!

Highlighted Quote:
"I dress up in my $2,000 suit, with a picture of my boss' yacht and tell a thousand Michelles that I'm a millionaire"

In A Few Words:
"Don't waste your time with this one, it's completely dire!"

Total Score:

Matthew Stogdon