If Jaws and last year’s Bikini clad outing of The Shallows didn’t petrify you out of the sea, this year’s shark infested manifestation, although formulaic, 47 Meters Down may just take a tremendous bite out of your bravado and set your nerves on edge.
The two young, pretty females at the centre of the shark bait are Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt), two sisters on holiday in Mexico together; Lisa is the good girl who, after her boyfriend dumped her for being too boring, is heartbroken. Kate, on the other hand, is the wild child, out to have an adventure and rub salt into the wounds of her sister’s ex-boyfriend by suggesting a shark-cage diving expedition after meeting a couple of Mexican heartthrobs on a night out. Whereas Kate is scuba-diving efficient, Lisa has no idea of exactly what she needs to do.
A terrified Lisa reluctantly joins her sister and their newly acquainted male companions on a rusty old boat captained by Taylor (Matthew Modine), which is equipped with an equally rusty and outdated cage, from this point it’s not really hard to fathom what’s coming next. As the girls are lowered into the sea, even Lisa begins to relax, that is until the cable that is lowering the cage snaps and sends their cage plummeting to the ocean floor. Out of radio contact with the boat, running out of air and surrounded by surprisingly authentic looking and very hungry sharks the girls look set to live very short lives.
The Other Side of the Door director Johannes Roberts, has taken a simple formula and run with it with no airs, graces or thrills but has layered on the chills and cranked up the tension to full pelt in women versus shark survival story. With an unsurprising narrative, it’s not hard to envisage exactly what is around the corner but its Roberts ability to immerse the audience into the traumatic events that unravel in the deep blue sea that keeps you perched on the edge of your seat. From being confined to the cage, only venturing out occasionally to make contact to those on the surface, or the dangers of the bends for ascending too quickly to the threat nitrogen narcosis and hallucinations from changing air tanks the peril of the ocean is never ending.
The ladies in the wetsuits, Moore and Holt do a fairly convincing job, but nothing outstanding. They’ve done the best they can with the weak dialogue and conventional characters from a script that hasn’t been over thought. However, it works just fine for inducing a few scares and a clever twist at which the film should have come to a close.
It’s not Sharknado or even Jaws, but its capability to keep its audience fully engaged in its short hour and a half running time unleashes the blood enough to offer an inoffensive bait of entertainment.
47 Meters Down is in cinemas July 28th
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Johannes Roberts
STARS: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine
RUNTIME: 89 Minutes