’47 Meters Down’ Does a Thing and It’s Not Awful
In 1975 Steven Spielberg created what is still regarded as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Jaws, based on the novel of the same name, went on to gross $470.7 million worldwide and created an unyielding fear of what lays in the ocean.
So, naturally, Hollywood has tried to build on this success with three sequels, which were all terrible in their own way. And they’re still trying to bank on the Jaws legacy by making horror movies about relatively harmless creatures. In fact, only 37 people die a year from shark attacks. You’re more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the beach than to be attacked by a shark. But that won’t stop filmmakers from villanizing the poor things and today we’re talking about 47 Meters Down.
That being said, I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed this movie. Is it one of the best horror movies of 2017? Absolutely not, but it was a lot of fun and didn’t drag on compared to other horror movies I’ve watched recently.
The story is your basic shark movie set up. A lot of establishing shots to show the audience how beautiful the filming location is in an attempt to build a false sense of security. How can anything bad happen in such a beautiful location? It’s impossible, isn’t it?
Our main characters are Lisa and Kate played by Mandy Moore and Claire Holt, respectively. They’re sisters just trying to have a good time in Mexico. It’s revealed that Lisa’s husband recently left her because she’s “boring” and she’s hoping to use the trip as a way to prove to him and herself that she can be fun–like her sister.
And this is when everything slowly goes downhill for the sisters. They meet a couple of attractive locals who happen to own a boat for cage diving. They decide to go cage diving with them instead of with a reputable company because, well, they’re hot. I mean, I can’t really think of any other reason why they would go with them other than for the chance of getting some D. Now, because Lisa is desperate to show she can be fun and free-spirited she turns a blind eye to the sketchy boat captain, the rusted diving gear, the fact she’s never been SCUBA diving, and the illegal chumming of the water and continues with her plan to cage dive with her sister.
I’d like to take a moment to refer back to my Back Country review because FUCK. I’m getting tired of characters in horror movies making stupid decisions right off the bat. Like, even if their cage didn’t break, these girls could have been kidnapped and sold into white slavery. Don’t get on boats with strangers. It’s common fucking sense. Where are all the sensible people in horror movies? Like, you can still make a scary movie without dumb people. Like, it would be just as scary if some shit went wrong even after they did everything right. Just look at Open Water. The husband and wife followed the rules the way they were supposed to. It was the boating company that fucked up. Am I just screeching into the void here?
Regardless, the device holding their cage breaks and they end up sinking down 47 meters, and the movie begins.
You know those Dumb Blonde and Smart Brunette jokes we’re all fond of in middle school? Well, Kate and Lisa are the embodiment of those stereotypes. Lisa is boring, smart, and doesn’t like to get out of her comfort zone often. Kate is fun, she’s always doing exciting things even if those exciting things aren’t safe.
Of course, there are the side characters, but for most of the movie, those other characters are just disembodied voices. But, I will say, that if these men were real they would be horrible pieces of shit.
The characters are written well enough to show the audience their bond, and I was hoping for the best outcome by the end of the movie.
The score to the movie did its job perfectly. In my most humble of opinions, if a shark movie doesn’t have a good score, then it’s just not going to be that good. It’s the score that helps build the tension in 47 Meters Down and when it’s paired with the claustrophobic cinematography, it really works to build an intense situation.
I also have to applaud the cinematography of this movie. I love how it really made the characters feel trapped even though they were in a space as large as the ocean. If one thing should be clear by now, it’s that I love me a claustrophobic horror movie.
Is this movie realistic? Sure, people–especially tourists–make stupid decisions all the time, and it gets them stuck in dangerous situations.
But, like I said in my introduction, sharks don’t attack humans that often. When they attack you it’s usually because they think you’re something else, so I kind of wish we would stop making such a big deal out of these relatively harmless creatures. Don’t fuck with them and they won’t fuck with you.
Overall, I guess this movie is kind of a meh, but a fun meh. I definitely would watch it again rather than Deep Blue Sea 2. That’s for damn sure.
Sometimes I watch horror movies with my boyfriend, who’s a forensic chemist. He can’t help but point out scientific errors in movies like this so here are some of his notes for 47 Meters Down.
-They would have a lot of problems if they went down that fast. Basically, when you’re going down you get more nitrogen dissolved in your bold, which is okay, but if you go down to rapidly it creates a problem. Just like if you come up too rapidly.
-At seeing the distant flashlight: “IT’S FRICKEN SHARKS WITH FRICKEN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS.”