In 1975, audiences were given their first taste of a shark for the antagonist on the big screen with Steven Spielberg's classic Jaws. More recently, the Sharknado film series has been all the rage. Forty-two years later, audiences still seem to love to see sharks attack humans on film. The latest shark movie, 47 Meters Down from Entertainment Studios is an excellent addition to the genre of man vs shark film.
After being dumped by her boyfriend for being too dull, Lisa (Mandy Moore) decides to go on a Mexican vacation with her sister Kate (Claire Holt). One night the siblings meet two local guys who inform the girls of the excitement of cage diving for sharks. Lisa is very skeptical of the cage diving, while Kate seems to be all for it. With this being a horror film, you know something is bound to go wrong, which it does.
Sure to draw comparisons to last summer's The Shallows, 47 Meters Down stands on its own and works. The film knows what it is and doesn't try to be anything other than an enjoyable popcorn thriller. Kudos to director Johannes Roberts, who wisely chooses to only spend about 15 mins of the film 89-minute running time on the beauty of Mexico before placing the girls in peril. With his last film, "The Other Side of the Door," Roberts seemed to start out strong, but the film fell apart by the end.
With a score by Tomandandy (who also scored the terrific Citadel and The Strangers), I generally felt for Lisa and Kate. For me, a good horror film puts one in the moment with the characters, and 47 Meters Down did just that with ease. In Lisa's role, Moore continues to make the smooth transition to adult roles; with her work in this as well as This Is Us, it's hard to believe she was once a pop star. Claire Holt impressed me in the role of Kate as well. I had never seen her prior work, but she definitely has a final girl/scream queen vibe going on.
One thing I do see audiences divided on is the film's semi twist ending. Personally, it worked for me, but I could see some audiences being put off by it. If you are looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, I recommended giving 47 Meters Down a look. There are enough genuine jump moments in the film to make even the best of swimmers, think twice about shark diving.
Final Grade B