47 Metres Down

Review by Josh Howey @hoshjowey

Directed by

Johannes Roberts

Starring

Claire Holt Mandy Moore Matthew Modine

Anticipation.

Will Johannes Roberts’ new shark thriller live up to the likes of Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows?

Enjoyment.

Plays to the genre’s strengths for a fun and frightening time beneath the surface.

In Retrospect.

A silly but intensely terrifying addition to the wave of shark thrillers out there.

Mandy Moore takes on the terrors of the deep in this very silly (but very fun) shark-based survival thriller.

Surrounded by sharks in a rusty cage suspended by the shadiest boat that still floats… what could go wrong? Well, pretty much everything in 2017’s answer to The Shallows. And honestly, it’s a terror-filled blast, even if the horror genre’s plague of people making awful decisions runs rampant throughout.

Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are sisters living it up in the Mexican sun after the former’s partner leaves her for being too “boring”. Climbing into an obviously dangerous cage and getting lowered into shark-infested waters is clearly the best way to prove him wrong, right? “Think of the pictures!” Kate argues to Lisa’s dismay. All is well at first, but soon the boat’s crane breaks and drops the pair 47 metres down to the bottom of the ocean. And then come the sharks.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way: the acting is flat, the dialogue is forced, and there are certain scenes where it feels like director Johannes Roberts forgot to shout the word ‘cut’. But really, who cares? It’s a shark thriller. It entertains and achieves its goal of making you question whether it’s safe to get back into the water. Job well and truly done.

Genuine tension is built from the moment the women enter the water right up to the very last shot of the film. Roberts even shows restraint by not having them attacked every time they leave the safety of the cage. However, an unnerving voice in the back of the mind maintains the fear that Jaws 3000 is about to appear. The use of open space is also manipulated perfectly, the vast emptiness of the ocean eventually becomes overwhelming as the two leads bob up and down like human bait.

47 Metres Down produces plenty of jumps and even some unintentional laughs. It’s a film that knows exactly what it is and always plays to the genre’s strengths for a surprisingly effective experience.

Published 27 Jul 2017

Tags: Claire Holt Johannes Roberts Mandy Moore

Anticipation.

Will Johannes Roberts’ new shark thriller live up to the likes of Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows?

Enjoyment.

Plays to the genre’s strengths for a fun and frightening time beneath the surface.

In Retrospect.

A silly but intensely terrifying addition to the wave of shark thrillers out there.

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