47 Meters Down (2017)

Now in theaters! This is a spoiler free preview. We may have one of the scarier, thinking-person’s shark films here. Its minimal presentation but only works to make you sit up straight amidst the terror.

47 Meters Down (2017)
PG-13 | 1h 29min | Horror, Thriller | 16 June 2017 (USA)
Director: Johannes Roberts
Writers: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Stars: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine

The director’s name I hadn’t heard until I looked him up as is conventional with me. He directed The Other Side of the Door, along with several other large release films that are impressive in number though he hasn’t had what I’d call a “hit” yet. Still, so many directors never get this many chances to make movies. I am impressed with his resume. He might be worth checking out as far as his other work. I’ll let you know as I intend to look at some of them in future reviews.

Like the film I mentioned, this could be classified as horror. His past work in the genre certainly would make him able to create suspense and jump scares. At the same time, shark movies like Jaws or The Shallows march to different drummers and therefore need extra skill to be made well.

I was overall impressed with the direction here. I’ll be curious to read what other critics say. There are many choices he made that work and just a few that I question, mostly the ones about what is happening 47 meters “up.” He chose to keep that minimal, maybe a bit too much.

Mandy Moore’s days in PG and R movies may have passed. I think she does great in Tangled and I am sure her name sells tickets. I love her in This is Us. Still, she has a shrill scream of a weak woman in my opinion. It irritated instead of terrified. Put her up against Blake Lively in a shark film and I’ll choose Lively hand over shark. Still, she is a familiar face and voice when she’s calm and we keep wanting her to be strong. Again, you may disagree about her performance. I thought she was miscast. So much of casting these days is done by demographic and in order to keep a movie in the black. I’ll save that for another post but it is VERY VERY sad that’s the situation we are in. Hundreds of other actresses of her paygrade could have done it better imo. She is still great to watch, I may be splitting hairs.

Claire Holt is the other young woman. She was well cast and more fun. I had to do a double take because she looked a bit like Alicia Vikander with more freckles and a tan. Both the women in this film are attractive, which I am somewhat ashamed to say … always helps.

This is not as good as Jaws but certainly has scares as you would expect. To sum it up: 2 attractive young women, with sharks, and the ocean is blue … what more could you want for a Summer escape? There is also a very clever ending I’d love to talk about with you. If you have a desire to do so, please start a conversation with me in the comments about the ending! I allow spoilers there.

7/10


My review 47 Meters Down (2017) appeared first on Riley on Film.

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an online diarist, blog film critic, & podcaster. My views on films and life are often 'left of center' on, but I have respect for other viewpoints. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.

2 thoughts on “47 Meters Down (2017)”

  1. I saw the twist coming and at least it was set up rather than simply sprung on us like the climax of “Life”. The fact is that they get two endings for the price of one, and it feels a bit like they could not decide . I liked the choice to keep the focus on the women, it added half the tension to the film by not knowing what the guys on the boat were trying.

    1. I know what you mean about the twist. Wasn’t “Life” awful? Maybe I had too high of hopes for it. With 47m down, the premise was so banal and great, I don’t think they could have done much to wreck a horror/shark experience. The director was smart to choose it! I’ll be a bit more scrutinizing of his next thing because shark movies are one thing, you know? Normal drama/etc are others.

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