European films

Film review: 47 Meters Down – Mandy Moore descends in cheesy B-movie thriller

Low-budget tale of two girls in a shark cage that drops to the sea floor offers little in the way of surprises, but is not all bad

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 7:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 November, 2017, 11:38am

2/5 stars

This low-budget shark attack film reminds one of the straight-to-video B-movies of the 1980s – it has pretty people doing stupid things, an amazingly cheesy soundtrack, and no cool special effects.

But bearing in mind the low bar the film has set, 47 Meters Down works quite well. There are a few shocks, the directing is competent, and the performers don’t make fools of themselves. Even the sharks, who show up much less than the film’s publicity suggests they will, do well enough.

The story is routine. Sisters Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) head down to Mexico for some fun in the sun, and are persuaded by some local hunks that being lowered into the sea in a rusty cage to watch sharks will make for a memorable experience.

Lisa knows this is a bad idea, we know it’s a bad idea, but Kate wants to do it anyway. The adventure starts out fine, but then the winch snaps and the cage hurtles into the shark-infested depths. You can guess the rest.

How Blake Lively learned to tolerate the sharks, in and outside The Shallows

It’s no surprise to discover that 47 Meters Down was originally intended for a straight-to-DVD release by Dimension Films, the Weinstein brothers’ genre film company. Perhaps due to the success of last year’s shark movie The Shallows , it was bought by a distributor just before its DVD release date, and ended up in US cinemas, and now here.

While the twist at the end works quite well, DVD would seem to be its natural home.

47 Meters Down opens on August 3

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