* This review will contain spoilers for 47 Metres Down. *
47 Metres Down, directed by Johannes Roberts, is a predictable, boring, slightly insulting film. I went in hoping for a tense, thrilling little film and instead got a drab, uninteresting film that offered nothing memorable or exciting. It had a good premise to work from, but it simply didn’t know how to play with it. This won’t be the kindest of reviews but the things I have to say are honest. So let’s get on with the review.
Sisters, Lisa – played by Mandy Moore – and Kate – played by Claire Holt – are on holiday in Mexico. While there they meet two guys who recommend that they go swimming with sharks. Lisa (the always hesitant one of the duo) inevitably agrees and they end up going. What they find is a rundown old boat and a suspect looking cage. But again, they continue on. As will come as no surprise, things go wrong and Kate and Lisa find themselves inside a cage that is plummeting down to the seabed – coming to a stop 47 metres down. It is from here that the film then attempts to keep you on edge with its scary situation.
47 Metres Down comes with what I thought to be a pretty interesting premise. Being trapped in a steel cage, 47 metres down and surrounded by sharks. From that, you can get some pretty intense, exhilarating stuff. Unfortunately, this film fails to offer anything.
Let’s take the two main characters, Kate and Lisa. There is an attempt to give them some set-up at the beginning. We are given the basics of what make them up as people and I was expecting the film to build upon what it had established, as it went on – you know, like what films are usually supposed to do. Well that never happens. The characters never grow or develop beyond who they are in the beginning. Kate is at all times the nervous, cowardly one who just wants to win her ex-boyfriend back, and Kate is the spontaneous, brave one who is up for anything and everything. That’s who they are and that’s all they ever are.
I simply couldn’t form any connection with them. I at no point cared about them or rooted for them, because the film had given me no reason to. Other than the fact that they are trapped in a horrible situation, there was no reason to ever really care about Kate and Lisa. Just putting to empty people in a scary situation, does not then mean I will automatically gravitate towards them and begin to care as to what the outcome will be for them.
That lack of caring feeds into inevitable disinterest in the film. At first, I was interested to see how Kate and Lisa might survive their situation, I was intrigued to see what unfortunate things they would have to do, so that there was a chance for rescue. But soon it became tedious – uninteresting. The clichés would happen where it seemed like there was hope; a chance for a way out, only for it to be taken away and the characters to be back to where they started. Every time it reset, I cared less and less, until my engagement with the film was non-existent.
I also found the film to be at all times predictable. While the characters were saying and then doing dumb things, I was thinking to myself what the outcome was about to be or what the next (supposed) twist in the story was going to be, and then it would happen. The film never surprised me, it never lobbed something my way that grabbed my attention and got me excited to invest in the film or pay any real attention. It simply set-up things that had a very obvious outcome.
And then the film did something that tempted me to walk out of the film. *Heads-up, I’m about to spoil the ending of the film, so if you don’t want to know how it ends, skip to the next paragraph.* Near the end of the film the two main characters get new oxygen tanks but are warned that changing to them could cause Nitrogen Narcosis, which could result in hallucinations. It was obvious at this point that the film was going to utilise this in the story and it of course did. What it technically did was the reveal that everyone hates: that it was all a dream and everything you had just watched, never happened. Lisa hadn’t actually been saved, everything she went through in the final act was a hallucination and instead of being on the boat, she was still in the cage. I couldn’t believe the film had the audacity to do it, and I was so insulted by the cheapness of it, that I laughed to myself (as did the random person sitting next to me) and then for the first time in quite a while, I considered walking out. Thankfully the film quickly wrapped up after that, but still, the thought still occurred in my head, which is never a good thing.
The only positives that I can gleam from this film are that it did go to the effort to shoot the majority of it scenes for real. The actors were there under water, and it never seemed like it used CGI for them. And the other positive is that the film did a good job of hiding the very obvious CGI sharks in a darkened environment. Though I could still tell, they certainly still benefited from the darkness.
In the end, 47 Metres Down was a wasted opportunity. What could have been an edge of your seat, thriller, ended up being a dull, forgettable experience.
I would not recommend 47 Metres Down. I thought at first that I could maybe recommend it to people looking for something to get the heartbeat going, but the film fails to even do that. So you can pass this one by, and instead focus on other films worthy of your time.
So what did you think of 47 Metres Down? Did you like the film? Let me know your opinions, share some feedback of my review in the comments down below. It would also be great if you could follow my blog directly as it will help to grow awareness for it. Also feel free to follow me on Twitter – @GavinsRamblings. Last but not least, thank you for taking the time to read my review and I hope you have a wonderful day.