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New shark-focused horror film "jumps the shark," rolls over and dies

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Still from "47 Meters Down"
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.5 Rustys

FILM REVIEW: 47 Meters Down (Entertainment Studios) 2017

Usage of sharks as the plot point of low-budget horror movies bewilders me. Almost like in every Syfy Channel roundtable meeting, their lists of topics to make movies about has sharks at the top with multiple circles drawn around it with a Sharknado spinning around it.

Shark movies just don’t work. Jaws is the obvious pinnacle here and Deep Blue Sea is the length at which you can go where it’s silly, but still watchable. Megashark vs Giant Octopus is obviously a classic that isn’t even worth mentioning.

For the past 30-plus years, Hollywood has just been remaking the opening scene of Jaws for an entire film. Making these types of films brings along beach culture, complete with dumb shirtless characters that just wanna have a good time, bro. But, you know, there’s killer sharks, bro.

Anyways, 47 Meters Down follows sisters Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) on vacation in Mexico. They are immediately unlikeable as their conversations center around Lisa’s ex and Kate just wanting to have fun while dancing to stock music in Mexico.

Lisa’s boyfriend left her because she was “boring.” And what does everyone do when they want to look like they are over their ex and show that they are fun? That’s right. Cage diving for sharks.

They meet a random set of guys out on the town and naturally, they invite them on their dingy boat with a rusted cage and proceed to chum the seas. Lisa is obviously apprehensive but Kate is an ass of a sister and proceeds to berate her for being boring.

If you’ve seen the title, you know what happens next. They aren’t just going 46 meters below. That’s right. We’re going the approximate level where characters proceed to say everything that is happening to the audience like its a film with constantly on Audio Description mode. Except it’s just the writer not knowing how human beings talk to one another.

Dissecting a film involving killer sharks sounds counterintuitive, but just because a movie is based upon a silly premise doesn’t mean the writer should sleepwalk through his script. Before anyone says “it’s not that deep, it’s a shark horror film,” actually, it is that deep. It’s 47 meters deep.

If you’re going to make a movie with a silly premise, at least make it somewhat enjoyable and playful (see Jaws: The Revenge or Deep Blue Sea). You can’t take your film seriously with this as your story.

Once the sisters are down on the ocean floor, it becomes an endless cycle of them screaming at each other that they will run out of oxygen soon if they don’t conserve air.

Awful movie aside, how are you going to have the basis of your film be the two actors needing to conserve air, yet you have them not shut up once while they are down in the ocean? Being that the writer thinks the audience doesn’t know how to follow a simple film, he has our characters audible update us about actions happening in the movie that we can clearly and easily follow.

This film will be in 2,300 domestic theaters this weekend. This is baffling. Dimension Films was set to release it on DVD/VOD last summer under the name In The Deep, but an unknown distribution company named Entertainment Studios bought it a week before it was set to premiere and here we are.

There’s zero redeeming qualities about this film (and it even includes Stranger Things’ Matthew Modine in the role of “Captain Taylor”) and I knew that going in. I wasn’t disappointed because I had no expectations. I knew it wasn’t going to be good or try to be anything it wasn’t.

Even then, it was worse. I wasn’t left insulted by the film’s existence, it was just the lowest type of film that can possibly be produced. It’s obviously a straight-to-video movie that the new studio decided to torture a nationwide theater audience with. They can’t all be Jaws: The Revenge, I guess.

(Remember when Mandy Moore, recently divorced from alt-rocker Ryan Adams, was like the triple-header of singing about virginal innocence with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera back in 1999? Different times now. More sharks and such.)

EDITOR'S NOTE: For the first time, a film critic here at Red Dirt Report has "awarded" a film with a score of .5/5 Rusties. Unprecedented!

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Kevin Tudor

Born and raised in the mean streets of Yukon, Oklahoma, Kevin is currently majoring in...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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