Saturday, July 08, 2017

47 Meters Down

Year: 2017
Director: Johannes Roberts
Cast: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine

Plot: Two sisters vacationing in Mexico decide to take a trip in a shark cage, but things go south in a hurry when the boat's crane snaps and the cage plummets 47 meters to the ocean floor. The girls now have to figure out how to survive with limited oxygen and sharks surrounding them.

Review: This film was originally set to be released on DVD, but then a studio that bought the rights to the film decided to release it in theaters. One wonders if they were trying to capitalize on the success of The Shallows from last year.

As the film's story goes, two sisters, Lisa and Kate are vacationing in Mexico. Kate, being the more adventurous of the two, persuades Lisa to join her in a shark cage experience in the ocean. Lisa, still healing from a breakup, agrees. Then trouble ensues when the boat's crane breaks and the cage sinks to the ocean floor. The sisters are trapped at the bottom, with air running out and sharks circling them. What will they do?

Writer/director Johannes Roberts makes 47 Meters Down as simple as possible for his audience. Two victims, trapped at the bottom of the ocean, there are sharks and time is limited. Nothing complicated, which is how most survival horror flicks should operate, and for the most part, he succeeds. Roberts makes good use of his environment and manages to create a handful of suspenseful moments, and unsurprisingly it usually involves a shark getting too close. It does take a while for the action to begin as Roberts spends a bit of time introducing us to the sisters, but once tragedy strikes, the pace picks up considerably. 

Mandy Moore and Claire Holt are convincing enough as Lisa and Kate respectively while Matthew Modine is alright in his short appearance as the boat captain. Credit goes to Roberts for not creating a cliched scenario where the sisters blame one another for the mishap.

However, other predictable cliches do turn up, making the ending much too easy to anticipate. There are also other elements that could have been avoided, like the girls constantly checking their oxygen meter and saying out loud that their air is running out, or the script's flimsy excuse for Lisa's breakup. But thankfully, these are minor faults, and Roberts still succeeds in filming this tightly so it doesn't overstay its welcome.

47 Meters Down isn't quite as awesome as The Shallows for sure, but it's a little more than decent entertainment, and can be quite fun if you allow it. (7/10)

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