47 Meters Down follows two friends who decide to go cage diving together with some sharks. After a series of events, the two end up on the ocean floor trapped with no way to the surface. With oxygen running low and sharks swarming above, can the two escape the inevitable?
47 Meters Down Review
Apparently it is debatable what category Jaws falls into. Is it adventure? Is it the first true blockbuster? Or is it horror? It's hard to consider it any of these without acknowledging the others. But I do consider it a horror movie. A killer shark eating people? It fits all-too well. So on the scale of SyFy original to Jaws, where does 47 Meters Down fall?
This film does a good job of breaking down the terror into feasible scenarios and solutions. Most everything was taken into account for how someone would die or survive a scenario like the one our two leads find themselves in. This is the highlight of the film, as it gives you a feeling of realism in their struggle and the behavior of the sharks.
Sharks don't openly attack people in 99.9% of encounters. They are curious whether humans are dangerous or on the menu first and foremost, and tend to not consider humans to be a good meal. The sharks in this movie, unlike the ones that seem unnaturally set on human flesh like in Jaws and The Shallows, behave more traditionally with how you would find them in nature. They are, essentially, as dangerous as suffocating or drowning.
And unfortunately, that's the flaw here...We get some tense moments, but we are also denied a good deal of shark fun. They're lurking in the dark waters and make their presence known on occasion, but they aren't something that instills any fear like the classic that set the bar.
Killer sharks work in fiction because, frankly, it is fiction. When you make it too realistic, in some cases it kills the momentum. Personally, I found the momentum of 47 Meters Down died right around the time they hit the bottom.
I wasn't expecting much from this movie. It didn't hit any notes that made me feel it would be particularly effective. And while it was a decently made production, I had a lot more fun watching The Shallows or a rerun of Jaws than this one. As it turns out, the plot of killer sharks needs a stronger premise than simply being stuck underwater.
Horror Qualifier: 6/10
Horror Quality: 4/10
Film Quality: 5/10