Sometimes during these survival films, we meet people that are either too dumb, or too reckless, but “47 Meters Down” chronicles the plight of two of probably the most unlucky women on planet Earth. A lot of what goes down in the film really poses a logical set up, because when we meet characters Lisa and Kate, they’re both anxiously trying to find an adventure and escape from the doldrums of their lives. Mandy Moore especially is the focal point of “47 Meters Down” where she plays a girl getting over a bad break up who literally has to muster up the will to live in an extraordinary situation. “47 Meters Down” is a pretty basic survival thriller, but it’s definitely helped by the very good performance by Mandy Moore.
Moore is a young woman who has improved as an actress big time over the years, and here she plays a very tightly wound woman forced in to a hopeless situation, and she puts her all in to the performance. Claire Holt and Mandy Moore have good chemistry as two sisters on vacation in Mexico. In an attempt to impress two guys they meet, they agree to go on a sketchy scuba dive to explore the sea and go face to face with sharks in a cage. Despite Lisa’s reservations about the boat and cage, things go from bad to worse when the cage breaks sinking the sisters deep in to the water. Now perched on a rock, the pair has to figure out how to get back to the surface as their oxygen slowly wastes away.
Despite Moore’s character being pretty darn dull as day old bread, she manages to suck us in to her nightmare well, making the terror unbearable at times. Johannes Roberts’ survival thriller is a solid piece of action drama in the vein of “The Shallows” and “Open Water” that at least has a unique set up. It seems to stretch the script a thin in the third act with a scene that feels like an excuse for filler, but director Roberts always keeps the pacing brisk and the terror very thick. What makes “47 Meters Down” such an interesting thriller is that Roberts paints the deep water as murky and dark so when a shark suddenly emerges from the shadows, it’s a jolt. It’s about as simplistic and straight forward as films like “The Shallows,” but it is a solid and entertaining survival thriller that kept me anxiously rooting for both protagonists all the way.