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’47 Meters Down’ (review)

Produced by James Harris, Mark Lane
Written by Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Directed by Johannes Roberts
Starring Mandy Moore, Claire Holt,
Matthew Modine, Santiago Segura

 

In most shark-centric motion pictures, filmmakers feel the need to up the stakes by giving the sharks an agenda; killing one victim after another for revenge, hate or the very simple love of the kill.

Rarely are cinematic sharks are depicted with their real purpose, as explained by Richard Dreyfuss’ shark expert Matt Hooper in Jaws, “(a shark is a) perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all.”

Which brings us to 47 Meters Down, a terrifically entertaining thriller that sets the haunted house genre at the bottom of the ocean.

Jilted from a break-up, Lisa (Mandy Moore) and her sister Kate (Claire Holt) are vacationing together in Mexico. A night out leads to the opportunity to go cage diving with Great White sharks; although Kate is excited, Lisa requires more convincing. Lisa agrees to go, and soon they find themselves two hours off the coast of Huatulco, where they take their turn in the cage and are descended into the depths surrounded by Great Whites, when suddenly their cable snaps sending Lisa and Kate plummeting in the cage 47 meters down to the floor of the ocean.

With limited oxygen, and only able to communicate with the surface by leaving the cage and swim unprotected in dark, 47 Meters Down works with the very best thrillers, depicting although an unlikely scenario, a very possible one.

Much of the film was filmed underwater and the script does an admirable job maintaining the verisimilitude.

Although the end cribs a bit from Neil Miller’s The Descent, 47 Meters Down is a captivating thriller with solid performances from Moore and Holt.

And the sharks.

 

This film was originally reviewed on 7/8/16 under the title In The Deep

 

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