Once more we are more on the serious side of the shark movie, with the rare UK production, among the overwhelming number of american and australian ones, 47 Meters Down (or 47 Metres Down, as my UK DVD release says, thought it was just a typo on the cover art and the back of the box, but nope, it’s just unsure how exactly “europey” it wants to sound), which would also “inspire” the third Open Water film, released just months after this one.
But we’ll talk about what differentiates the two movies when talking of Open Water 3, for what concerns 47 Meters Down, you just have to know it’s about two sisters that decide – after the more introverted one breaks up with her boyfriend – to spend a vacation together in Messico.
While there, they decide to try something extreme and go on a cage scuba dive, but due to the wire malfunctioning, they end up being trapped in a shark cage underwater (at the depth the title specifically refers to), and they desperate struggle to escape while great white sharks siege them.
It’s another one of those survival thrillers about sharks that takes its time to fully “grab” you, but makes it worth it, even if the execution doesn’t really use the premise to its fullest potential, just stops short of going “all in”, which isn’t a deal breaker but a bit disappointing, as the movie trades some tension for entertaiment value.
Still, even so it’s pretty tense and suspenseful, the sharks look quite good and the movie doesn’t overuses them, even if does rely on their attacks more than trying to craft a grand atmosphere where even the slight possibility of them existing was made more terrifying than their presence. Again, by design it also wants to be entertaining, so it’s not quite trying to be something like The Reef.
Which is a better movie overall, but still, 47 Meters Down is a good fun shark b-movie with some ambition to it, good production values, good effects (not much gore or blood until the end), and with decent main characters, played by fairly know actressesses, Claire Holt (H20: Just Add Water, Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries) and Mandy Moore (The Princess Diaries, Midway), delivering good performances as the sisters duo fighting for their lives underwater.
Nice “twist ending”, btw, not original but well executed and fits quite this dark story.
While not perfect, i really don’t have many further qualms to throw at the movie, i quite enjoyed it, wasn’t surprised in any way, but i was pleased to finally see another good shark movie, for a change, so i’m not gonna make shit up to inflate this review for the sake of “content”.
47 Meters Down comes from director and writer Johannes Roberts (The Other Side Of The Door, The Strangers: Prey At Night, and the upcoming Resident Evil movie reboot), and would be followed in 2019 by 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, also directed and written by Roberts. Which we are covering next, of course.