47 Meters Down
ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS (2017)
Director: Johannes Roberts
Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Chris J. Johnson, Yani Gellman, Santiago A. Segura, Matthew Modine
I bloody hate the ocean.
47 Meters Down follows two sisters, Lisa (Moore) and Kate (Holt), who are vacationing in Mexico in the aftermath of Kate's breakup with her boyfriend Stuart, but he broke up with her before the trip because he...found her boring? Eventually, the pair become trapped in a shark cage that has sunk, you guessed it, forty-seven meters down in the ocean, and, as they struggle to survive, they come face to face with big, hungry sharks.
Riding on the success of 2016's The Shallows, 47 Meters Down is the next movie designed to put viewers off venturing into the deep blue sea. Switching from the glamour of the Dominican Republic to the glamour of underwater tanks in Basildon never looked so good. The use of lurking dread is not new, but it is effective when used correctly, and 47 Meters Down does well in that respect. There are moments that seem to fall into clichéd territory, but Roberts tries his best to steer clear whenever possible. While there are jump scares, they are few and far between. We know the sharks are out there, but we can't always see them as the movie captures the dark murkiness of the ocean to provide a sense of claustrophobia and the underwater scenes pulsate with rising tension. When the sharks do show up, they only become fully visible at the last second, so you never quite know when they'll strike for a chance at a quick meal.
Moore and Holt are solid in their respective roles, mainly tasked with looking scared and panicking, but they carry the movie well. Whilst 47 Meters Down is mired in B-movie goodness, the main issue with the movie lies with the script - it really isn't very good. The relationship between the sisters is fine, and how they bond throughout the situations is a tale that has been told far more effectively elsewhere. The movie relies heavily on its visual execution rather than its writing and had the two been on an equal level, the movie would have been more successful. That said, the extra threat of the oxygen running out was an aspect that was thankfully consistent (similar to the rising tide of The Shallows).
The ending is satisfying and justifies certain events that had come before, adding a little bit of realism to the proceedings. However, let's not pretend any of it felt authentic or realistic. Also, how could the girls communicate with their ears uncovered by the masks?
47 Meters Down is not the new Jaws. It's not quite the new The Shallows. But it is better than Sharknado and Deep Blue Sea (minus the scene of Sam Jackson getting chomped, of course).
Entertaining but forgettable.
September 2nd 2017