Perhaps quite a few people are uneasy about being in enclosed places, and then just as many are queasy about getting close to sharks. If that is you, well — get ready for “47 Meters Down”, because your personal spooked-out meter will be peaking in the red zone. This movie will take many of the scariest things you can imagine and blend them into a nice smooth frightening shake.
Two sisters are in Mexico for a summer trip. Kate (Claire Holt) and Lisa (Mandy Moore) are getting away on a vacation. Lisa tells her sister it is because her long-term boyfriend broke up with her. He thought that Lisa was too boring. Lisa and Kate meet a couple of local guys, and they hit it off. They convince Kate to go on an underwater scuba trip to see the sharks. Lisa is much more sensible and does not want to go. Kate tells her that if she goes on the tip, she will prove she is not boring.
They meet Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine) who owns the worn-out old boat and the crappy-looking equipment for a shark dive. They don the scuba gear and get in the cage and start to descend down around 20 feet. They have only limited oxygen in their tanks, and they have limited experience underwater. But that is about to change. The cable holding the shark cage snaps, sending them down to 47 meters below the surface.
Both Kate and Lisa know that they cannot swim straight up to the surface. Once they go up, every 20 meters or so they would need to stop and let their blood handle the nitrogen bubbles, or they could die from the bends. They have no communication with the boat on the surface. So they take turns to try things out. One will swim up to try and get radio contact, then the other will trace down a mysterious flashlight brought down with a different cable hook. If they get it attached, they can be gently pulled up to the boat.
But, yes there are sharks in these here waters. So every attempt to get free or get back up to the boat is met with a potential big toothy grin. The guy who brought down the flashlight and the new cable was attacked and killed. Either Kate or Lisa could be next. The new cable turns out to be as useless as the first cable, and now they are trapped again. The Coast Guard has been called for a rescue, but they are an hour away.
Lisa and Kate almost run out of oxygen, and they two new tanks are sent down. But the new tanks can keep them alive. However, being down for so long can bring on nitrogen poisoning. This could lead to hallucinations and feelings of a dream-like state. They will both need to keep an eye on each over to make sure the other one does not get crazy ideas. After all, there is a rescue operation just about to begin…
To say anything more would deprive you of getting your feet wet and seeing this movie. The story is pretty straight-forward. Put two nice ladies in peril, and spend the rest of the movie trying to figure out how to get them freed. Mandy Moore and Claire Holt do a decent job, but much of the dialog is scuba breathing and screaming. They prove to be intelligent characters, except for the fact that they got on such a dumpy boat to begin with.
The setup gets going really quickly, and the part underwater is intense and spooky. Each of the sisters does her best to comfort the other one. But it is hard to find any comfort when you are more than 150 feet below the surface. Since this movie is so tense and spooky, I will need to lighten it up…
Once I threw out all the chopped up fish and fish guts into the water, the sharks got real chummy.