It’s the beginning of summer and many people are storming to the beaches for a variety of activities. And of course, Hollywood is happy to release a shark movie to scare everyone back into the theaters, or at least try to. My build up is of course on the latest suspense/thriller shark movie 47 meters down. This “original” titled film looks interesting, so naturally I’ve been assigned to analyze, comment, and share with the public. Robbie K here back again this weekend with yet another review. Let’s “dive” on in shall we?
Cute leads: Many modern films are all about using that eye candy to reel you in, and 47 meters is no exception. The lovely ladies Mandy Moore and Claire Holt take much of the screen time and as such are very pleasant to watch. For one thing, they are certainly cute. Whether in stunning dresses or wet suits, they look fabulous to keep your attention to the big screen. Looks aside though, the more important aspect is their acting. While certainly not an Oscar performance, the girls have the part down pat of playing fear, scared to the point of either death or survival. The kept the acting in check (for the most part) and sold me into their characters. Of course, they could have used a little more character development to further invest me into the girls’ lives.
Suspenseful: When it comes to suspense/thrillers we want…well suspense. Good news folks, 47 meters has you covered with this aspect. The setting itself will get your muscles tense, the dark, foreboding depths filled with terror at what lurks in the shadows. Yet that is just the surface of the thrills, as the ever-present threat of drowning looms over our heroines. This constant threat continues to amplify the fear, especially when the CGI sharks swim in and things get further heated. The team balanced the fear with brief rests to ease the tension, many times faking us out with foreshadowing before taking a different path. Such dynamic antics, alongside great sound and music editing, resulted in a fantastic culmination that many shark movies have lacked in the past.
Surprises: As I mentioned up above, the directing team kept things dynamic through this movie. While there is certainly a linear goal for the girls (survival), the path they pursue takes many detours to get there. Just as you think one goal is accomplished, another curveball is thrown to waylay their mission and keep things interesting. Yet it’s the end that really churns up the water and will leave you in a daze that many horror movies fail to achieve. So well done on that guys.
Pointless extras: You see the credits, you realize there are few names listed for the acting cast. In all honesty, they could have left almost all those names off. One major dislike is the limited involvement with the other cast. Yes they do a lot of background activity to help increase their chances of survival, but you just don’t see much involvement in them. As such, you can’t help but wonder what was the point of them (primarily their boy interests) being in the movie.
Miracle moments: Many films have those moments that are sheer coincidence or miracle moments. In 47 meters down, those moments are quite frequent, throwing plenty of inconsistencies that are a bit eye-rolling at times. Prolonged bouts of struggle often fade fast and magically get solved. These stretches do add suspense, but many of them are incredibly unlikely to end that way and takes away from the magic they were building up. If you can suspend these observations you will have no problem, otherwise get ready to laugh at some of these cheesy moments.
Few shark moments: After all the advertising of shark attacks, one would think this movie would be filled with close encounters of the toothy sea beasts. Not the case my friends. Certainly, there are moments of intense jaw chomping action, but much of the 90 minute screen time is left in the dark. Like Jaws, the threat of the unknown paints the picture of fear, but I had hoped for a little more engagement with the sharks. Instead, much of the movie focuses on the decreasing air supply and the girls trying to handle their fear. When the sharks do finally come into play, it is exciting, but also the most overdramatic component of the film, especially that ending sequence.
The reviews say it is the first good shark movie since Jaws, and on some level I agree with that. However, 47 meters down has a long way to go to master the epic tale of the shark attacks. It certainly has suspense and uses some cool tricks to get you fired up at the fear the lies at the bottom of the ocean floor. While the survival aspect is neat to see, I came for a shark movie and felt I only got about 1/3-1/2 of that with the limited shark involvement. And for many of those moments, the coincidental solution to their problems made for some eye-rolling, groan filled reactions. Still it isn’t the worst shark movie to date and is miles above the “original” pictures from Sy-Fy! Worth a trip to the theater? Yeah I think it is on some level, but you can hold off for NetFlix as well.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0