After covering a bunch of daft shark movies last year (such as The Shallows), we’re back with this 2019 survival horror thing. And you know what? It’s okay!
47 Metres Down: Uncaged
47 Meters Down is one of our favourite stupid movies. The 2017 survival horror flick is fun and dumb on a big scale. So very, very dumb.
It was also an unexpected minor hit, so we have here a sequel from director Johannes Roberts.
And the big surprise for us is the stellar young cast—all female actors. We have:
- Sophie Nélisse as the brainy, introverted Mia.
- Corinne Foxx as the bratty but noble Sasha (Foxx is also actor Jamie Foxx’s daughter).
- Brianne Tju as the super smart Alexa.
- Sistene Stallone as Nicola (she’s the daughter of Sylvester Stallone).
These sorts of films (B-movies, essentially) often feature hopeful young actors trying to get their break. Often cast due to their looks, but not talent.
However, those four (all around 20/21) really are bloody good with what is (predictably) a pretty ropy script at times. Particularly Nélisse and Tju.
And it was another minor hit. Off its $12 million budget, it went on to make $46.1 million. Nice one, sharks!
Anyway, the plot. Yes, this film has a plot. The above four are teenagers at school, with Mia and her stepsister Sasha having an awkward relationship.
Mia is also bullied at school. The film begins with her getting a shove into a swimming pool. American schools have pools? Cripes. Privilege!
They’ve moved to a new school and their archaeologist father Grant (John Corbett) suggests they go on a trip to see great whites out on the open sea. Hoping it’ll make the two whippersnappers bond.
Before that, they go swimming near Mia’s fathers underwater excavation sites and decide to do what teenagers do. Get rebellious and go deeper!
So, they plunge on in with swimming gear and head to the Mayan city that just happens to be there.
They come across a blind fish, that’s evolved to function fine underwater without sight. Oh, and there’s a bunch of great white sharks who have the same ability.
Logic stretch there, obviously, as the film is set in a confined underwater location. Where, apparently, giant great white sharks have flourished for millennia without anyone noticing them.
As you might expect, what happens is the sharks start mindlessly attacking everyone in sight. And a fight for survival begins.
The reveal of the shark isn’t exactly terrifying. This is one of the major problems with the film—the CGI sharks, generally, look very poor. It’s 2000 era special effects, at times.
But the central issue we have with 47 Metres Down: Uncaged is it’s a bit boring.
Most of the film is about the below clip, lots of screaming and wailing as the shark almost gets some of the girls. But then doesn’t.
All the usual horror tropes are there. We guess it’s aimed at teenagers, who might take their mates or date to watch it. In which case, they’ll probably have a popcorn entertainment blast.
But compare it to Jaws and the film is totally… out of its depth. Yes?
It’s just a bit boring. That’s the problem. There are long stretches of the teenagers swimming along in murky waters, whilst you wonder where the next jump scare comes from.
The saving grace remains with the performances from the four young ladies.
It’s natural acting, rather than hammy, really helping to draw you into the film more.
Even when it has its Deep Blue Sea, Samuel L. Jackson moment. Grant provides a less than sterling speech to the girls, telling them he thinks they can survive.
Moments later one of the sharks attacks him. And he responds with a sort of, “Arggh! What a disappointing development!” Type shout of dismay.
It actually made us laugh, to be honest, it’s so poorly done—and such a predictable development.
And then the girls flee down into the caverns, with rushing currents and bizarre Interstellar type soundtrack.
Our favourite character, Alexa (Tju), then snuffs it. Unfortunately. In a very well performed, frightening depiction of drowning.
Mia and her stepsister Sasha, meanwhile, are separated. Damn and blast it!
We were reaching the point of worry, the concern due to nothing outrageously stupid had taken place yet.
Then we got to 47 Metres Down: Uncaged’s ending sequence. We weren’t disappointed with it at all.
It’s off the scale ridiculous. Basically, it involves Mia and Sasha reaching safety. But the latter is yanked under by one of the sharks moments before reaching safety.
Mia hurls herself back into the water and fires a flare gun at the shark, freeing Mia.
As they clamber back onto the boat, Mia is then dragged into the water by a shark in another shock twist. ZOMG! But she fights it off and then embraces Sasha. Bonding!
Even though their friends are dead, and father no more, it ends on a kind of super uplifting note. All that ordeal to help them bond, eh? Jolly good show!
Okay… let’s regroup. Dumb movie? Absolutely. Boring and convoluted on many occasions, with all the horror cliches in the book.
But for what it is, 47 Metres Down: Uncaged is much more than we could ask for. It could be utterly abysmal. It isn’t. It’s passably enjoyable.
If you have a thing for stupid shark movies, then this could well provide you with an entertaining distraction whilst in self-isolation.