Few movies can make you cringe and clench your teeth, but 47 Meters Down is one of those movies, completely packed to the brim with tension. Mandy Moore and CW favorite Claire Holt play sisters vacationing in Mexico who decide to be rebellious and go shark diving following the formers break up with her long term boyfriend. The act of spontaneous fun rebellion turns into sheer horror when an unexpected accident occurs and they find themselves trapped 47 meters below surface level.
Moore and Holt carry the movie, as there are few other actors in it with roles that demanded a specific type of physical performance to depict the underwater terrors anc claustrophobia the two endure. Moore is especially impressive as she does a great job projecting the fear that’s overriding her, and that’s in spite of a helmet covering most of her face throughout the movie. Even though they don’t look like sisters at all, Holt and Moore have nice chemistry and camaraderie on screen.
Where the film really impacts is in the way it hooks you in and engages in the high stakes of every moment of struggle the characters are going through relying on the intimacy of claustrophobia. Writer and director Johannes Roberts does a fantastic job of constantly building tension and raising the intensity of the cat and mouse game between the dangers of the deep sea and the two vulnerable humans. There are few moments that let you exhale.
While the sharks pose a significant threat to these women, it’s the ocean itself that is even more terrifying. Expecting this to be a knock-off Blake Lively’s The Shallows, it ends up being a lot better and frightening than that. This is one of the better ocean entrapment movies ever made. Right up the alley with Open Water and even Jaws. What makes it so good is the genuine reality and authenticity this film showcases. The entire premise and plot is fairly believable, sure, there are moments underwater that seem farfetched, but the execution makes it plausible.
The movement and look of the sharks are as realistic as you can get, even when they attack it looks like you’re witnessing something you haven’t seen in a shark themed movie. It’s easy to overdue and use CGI on a film like this, but credit the filmmakers on keeping it real. The background music is a bit too orchestrated and telling. It amps up as soon as there is some danger lurking, at times it’s a detriment because it gives away an opportunity for a true moment of scares that will make you jump out of your seat.
47 Meters Down is a a top-notch thriller that really thrills. This is just the kinda movie that fits the “edge-of-your-seat” and “heart pounding” descriptions. It is also a top-notch horror for all the uneasy moments of terror that it creates. It is nearly impossible not to invest in these characters that are trapped in the bottom of the ocean. The reality of the situation is what makes it truly scary. There is a nice twist towards the end of the movie that will surely make you gasp, even though the movie ends abruptly with more to be desired.
You know you got something special when the shark isn’t the scariest thing presented in a movie about humans trapped at sea.In a summer movie season that’s lacking strong horrors or thrillers, (beyond the superb It Comes at Night) 47 Meters Down is a safe bet to provide all that and more.