Release Date: June 16, 2017
Director: Johannes Roberts
Writer: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Cast: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine, Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura, Chris Johnson, Mayra Juarez, Axel Mansilla
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 89 minutes
Production Company: Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, Tea Shop & Film Company, Dimension Films, thefyzz, Altitude Film Sales, Dragon Root Securities, Flexibon Films, Lantica Media
Genre: Horror, Thriller
A vacation is supposed to be one of the many highlights of your life. Whether you’re down in the dumps, or a general happy person, it’s meant to be your getaway to live freely with no worries. That’s not the case when two sisters decide to take a trip down to Mexico for some fun. 47 Meters Down flips your life upside down from the time of your life to a living nightmare. It’s a true thriller that has you at the edge of your seat in fear of what’s going to happen next. It will make you gasp, scream, and jump in your seat in anticipation of what’s lurking in the waters. The ending is unpredictable, and whether you’re for it or not is a flip of the coin. If this film was trying to sell you on the terror of sharks it wins, but everything else stayed in the shallow end of the beach.
On a positive note, the majority of this film takes place in the water, as it should. Reason being is the two sisters, Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt), that are in this demise, don’t have much to offer other than screams of panic. Anyone would react the same for the most part, but whether you cared or not about them will be a mystery. As siblings should always hold each other up, the same happens here with infant level thinking. Lisa just got her heart broken, because she’s too boring. So she decides to risk her life to swim with sharks. It’s not the best idea, though there are still worse ideas. You can’t respect the very reason she’s on the trip, nor can you respect her character. The words she uses, and actions she takes, is detestable. There’s no way in hell a logical thinking person would set foot on this particular boat to take them out to sea. It was so beat up and damaged the boat’s name should’ve been DEATH TRAP! This thing looked like it crashed and sunk with the Titanic, then was refurbished with lawn mower parts. Don’t forget she’s in a different country with strangers she met hours ago. For her to go to such lengths to win someone’s heart is pathetic! Yet she’s one of the main characters you’re forced to cheer for as every second that passes brings her closer to her end. In the areas that Lisa comes up short her sister Kate makes up for it with a level head. If only Lisa modeled more after her sister this would truly be a great experience.
Though you won’t have to wait long. Once they hit the water, the film doesn’t waste any time before it picks up. For a second you forget about all the nails on a chalkboard mannerisms from Lisa and just want them to be safe. For them falling only 47 meters down, it felt like they were sucked into a black hole abyss. Even with the safest cage and an endless amount of air, it would be difficult to get me to go down to such depths even with cash money waiting at the bottom. Director Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of The Door) was able to frame the environment very well with close up shots of the leads while in terror, and wide shots of them in open water. The darkness combined with the light switching back and forth created a maze of wonder deep below that will be forever haunting. Before this it was hard to imagine this much water being so terrifying, and this is even without the sharks. Though when they come into play the pain they go through of course gets even more intense.
It’s hard to think of what’s worse when you see these two women fighting for their lives between drowning to death or being eaten alive. A combination between the two is unthinkable, but it’s their reality. Plus, everything that you could think of to go wrong goes wrong. You’re screaming at the screen as if you’re there with them, yet you’re simultaneously humbling yourself knowing you may react the same. This all goes to Roberts as he keeps you invested in the film. Once one obstacle is overcome, another pops up that’s even harder as you’re forced to watch.
The film is only 89 minutes, which seemed stretched far longer than that. Yet it spends most of its time in the place that you’d want it to be within the danger. The film likes to play tricks with your senses, teasing you with a possible outcome, then slamming the door right in your face. The characters are barely likeable overall. While you don’t respect them, you do commend them on their journey and struggle all to have it stolen away at the last minute. I found the ending to be completely unnecessary with its multiple conclusions. It was coming to a high note, but stretched the runtime a little too far, making a substantial portion of the film redundant. This decision pollutes the film, making it a near waste of time. However, if you can stomach that, the war that’s fought underwater may be worth your time.