47 Meters Down (2017)

A new shark horror film, because why not? There’s been loads, of course the classic ‘Jaws‘ is always one to spring to mind first. Then there’s the older (and definitely most fake) ‘Deep Blue Sea’, and you cannot forget the newer of them, ‘The Shallows‘. 2017 brings another, ’47 Meters Down’ or ‘In The Deep’ because I’m not entirely convinced I know which one is actually the real title. We all know sharks make a good villain in horror films, if done correctly and convincingly, and this film definitely did that! The predators of the sea are viscous and blood-thirsty, they linger in the darkness and a good director knows how to get the audience’s hearts racing to the unknown position of the shark.

We’ve learnt the effective way of using a camera underwater and using it from the position of a shark, or maybe not from a shark at all, creates a tension and thrill in audiences so brilliantly – this of course dominant in Stephen Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’. This is also seen in this film, although with the plot it’s obvious that this would happen, but still the camera positioning is extremely effective in creating that horror feeling. Additionally, music is key. There’s no classic du un duuuu nuu in this film, but the music definitely builds more tension and horror to the film. Now we just need some convincing and realistic actors/actresses, and this is something we definitely have in this film too. The two main protagonists, sisters but polar opposite in personalities, stand out amazingly in this film. They are recognisable (of course) as Mandy Moore and Claire Holt. Mandy Moore recognisable in films such as the voice of Rapunzel in ‘Tangled’, or the main protagonist in the beautiful drama ‘A Walk To Remember’, or even the bitch in ‘The Princess Diaries’. Then there’s Claire Holt, probably more recognisable in TV programmes (well she is to me anyway), as one of the original mermaids of ‘H2O’ or even one of the vampires in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ or the spin-off ‘The Originals’. Nevertheless, both are great actresses and play the part extremely well in this film. Moore plays Lisa, the more sensible one of the sisters, she’s just been left by a long-time boyfriend who said she was too boring, but from the film we know she’s definitely not. Holt plays the more daring sister, Kate, the brave one, the one to do anything for a bit of fun, however this is apparent to be quite wreckless. The sisters are completely different, yet both are great and become characters to love in the film. 

So what actually happens if you don’t know? While on vacation in Mexico, the sisters meet two men on a night out, soon they are persuaded to venture out the next day to the deep blue sea and enter a cage and watch the great white sharks around them. The boys do it first, successfully as they have so many times before, but when the girls are in the cage something goes wrong. From the beginning you know everything seems a bit shady, things seem suspicious, maybe I’m more like Lisa, paranoid it’s something too unsafe in the first place, whereas Kate was eager to go, a new adventure to discover. Things that go wrong are predominantly no ones fault, but the cage sinks, breaking the rope that was going to take the girls back up, but nope, they head down, down, down, 47 meters down if you couldn’t guess. There’s a multitude of problems that creates tension in this film, not just the sharks, which is horrible because you don’t know where they are, but also they’re oxygen levels are going low, they can’t swim to the top without stopping at five minute intervals or nitrogen will hit the brain, and of course they are unprotected in water, in the freezing cold water – the more they panic the less air they will get. Oh and on top of all that, they are just out of reach of the signal to talk to the top of the water to the people in the boat. So a lot of things are adding up for these two young women 47 meters deep in the ocean. So to be honest, there’s a lot of things that add to the tension, just in the plot alone.

’47 Meters Down’ was definitely thrilling, a great horror. There were moments I had to look away, the suspense of not knowing where the shark was was petrifying. Yeah, maybe the shark was around as much as realistic effects go in the film, but to be honest, that wasn’t on my mind in the film, there was always the possibility of one showing up. So yeah, there weren’t actually as many attacks of the shark than I would have thought, but the suspense of it being out there was enough to create the horror in the film. The inevitable fact that they would have to get out the cage was annoyingly terrifying, survival instincts kicking in and that they would have to try save themselves with oxygen low. Especially with the many other issues they had underwater as well. It is a film you are watching in real time, the time that went in the film was the time you were watching it for. This added to the tension even more and made it feel even more real. Very clever. I would definitely recommend this film, its cleverly thrilling and definitely a good shark horror film.

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