Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine, Santiago Segura
Directed By: Johannes Roberts
Plot: Two sisters looking for fun in Mexico decide to go cage diving and see the sharks up close. Real close.
What Works: Well… I mean… considering this was supposed to be a straight-to-video release, I would say it was better than expected. It’s also one of those films where not a lot can happen, so the runtime is super short, so the pacing is actually pretty good. It’s under 90 minutes, and each scene seems purposeful. The film doesn’t spend a lot of time getting to the action, with maybe 10-15 minutes getting to know the characters and the setting. I thought the acting was decent, all things considered. Moore and Holt do most of the heavy lifting. It’s hard at times to distinguish between the two of them. I honestly forgot who was Kate or Lisa, so I needed facial recognition, and it’s hard to get that at times. I wish one of them had been named something wild like Jamaroquai or something. Then I would have remembered that one of them was named Jamaroquai. I will also commend it for not being a jump scare fest, and attempting to actually craft each scare.
What Doesn’t Work: The Shallows was better. At everything. It was better at building tension, the sharks looked better, the film had better cinematography, and a legitimately good performance from Lively. If you want a good shark attack film, well, obviously watch Jaws. If you’ve already seen Jaws, then The Shallows is a much better choice than 47 Meters Down. It’s not bad, it’s serviceable for what it is, but I also can’t handily recommend it either. It’s a film that’s destined to be forgotten in 10 years, unless it has a series of straight-to-video sequels like Open Water has had.
Final Word: Again, The Shallows is a better film. This isn’t terrible, but I also can’t recommend it.
Final Grade: C-