Wanna see sharks up close?
'47 Meters Down’ is more than enough depth
In 2016, “The Shallows” was a movie about a young woman surfer
(Blake Lively) who hits the waves at a secluded Mexico beach and
soon finds herself marooned on a rock offshore, along with
an injured seagull, while a hungry Great White shark circles,
waiting for her to become its hot meal.
Now in 2017,
“47 Meters Down” is about two sisters who find themselves
trapped in a shark cage deep in the waters off Mexico while
these menacing eating-machine fish zip around.
Do I detect
a trend here?
It’s as if
an addendum has been added to the Handbook of Horror, right
there in Article One that states: Young people who have sex will
be pursued and/or killed by some determined, indestructible and
armed maniac. Now there’s a new reality: Go into the water off
Mexico and a shark or two or three will assume you are on the
“47 Meters Down,” which did an OK $11
million at the box office during its opening weekend, is a tale
of survival that keeps the tension level at high amps. With most
of the action taking place under water, it is quite an
Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are two sisters vacationing in
Mexico. Lisa is having boyfriend problems and decries her boring
life, especially in comparison to Kate’s adventurous existence.
Little sis Kate has a remedy: We’re in Mexico; let’s hit the
night life. They meet Louis (Yani Gellman) and Benjamin
(Santiago Segura) and party down with these two guys. The men
then entice the women to try an activity not mentioned in the
brochures. They know a guy who offers people a chance to get
into a shark cage, submerge and have up close and personal (and
supposedly safe) encounters with sharks.
for it, but Lisa has reservations. Kate is persuasive, and the
next morning the ladies meet up with Louis and Benjamin at a
dock. There they are greeted by Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine
doing a toned down Quint, a la “Jaws”), and they are boated to a
larger vessel several miles offshore on which the shark cage
sits, awaiting its next plunge.
hyperventilating Lisa is even more apprehensive when she sees
the dilapidated condition of the cage and the lifeline winch
used to lower it into the sea. Despite this, she lies to Taylor,
assuring him she has scuba experience, so that he signs off
allowing the ladies to go into the cage.
Benjamin go down in the cage first and come up exuberant, their
enthusiasm infectious. Lisa, still shaky, sets aside her
anxieties and climbs into the cage with Kate and down they go.
The movie up
to this point is pretty bland, but once Lisa and Kate are under
water, “47 Meters Down” revs up. The expected malfunction occurs
and soon the cage plummets to the bottom of the sea, 47 meters
beneath the surface.
and Kate regain their wits, they begin to realize their dire
predicament: first, the cage hatch has been wedged closed by
winch debris; they have less than an hour of oxygen left in
their tanks; the water at that depth is pretty murky; they are
out of radio range of the boat; a rapid ascent from that
depth could lead to the “bends,” i.e. nitrogen bubbles getting
into the brain (See: “Jaws 2”). And, oh yeah, at least two
sharks are in the vicinity and are even more lethal in an
environment of very limited visibility.
is a roller-coaster ride of emotions: fear, hope, despair and
downright panic. The clock is ticking, in the form of their
oxygen level gauges, and in order to maintain communications
with the boat, the ladies have to vacate the relative safety of
the cage — once the hatch has been liberated from being blocked
— and ascend to a depth within range of the radio.
co-writer Johannes Roberts (who collaborated on the script with
Ernest Riera), manages to maintain the tension with a lurking
sentiment of “what else can go wrong.” Then, just when it looks
like things have been resolved, there is a twist.
Meters Down” delivers as a horror/thriller venture. An amusing
aspect of this movie is that during the opening credits, there
was a seemingly endless listing of executive producers. In all,
21 EPs were listed, with the head honchos being Bob and Harvey
Weinstein, proven film chiefs. In addition there were several
other just plain “producers.” With all these chefs hovering over
the pot, it’s a wonder the movie got made at all.
"47 Meters Down" Official Trailer:
‘It Comes at Night’ is not
what you think it is
for the movie “It Comes at Night” might be dark and foreboding,
perhaps with a pair of sinister, glowering eyes of a murderous
beast staring at you — an effective illustration for a
monster/ghost-type of horror film.
doesn’t because it isn’t.
Writer-director Trey Edward Shults apparently attached this
title to his film as a means of poking fun at the seemingly
endless stream of jump-scare movies that, like it or not, have a
solid base of fans, hence continue to be produced over the years
with no end in sight.
challenges the audience to decide for itself what the “it” is in
his movie, which by the way would be more accurately categorized
as a psychological thriller.
said about the plot to “It Comes at Night,” the better it can be
for the viewer. This is an example of a movie that is best
digested by going in without having any idea what it is about,
because this would intensify the mysteries involved and keep one
guessing as to where it is going.
What can be
said is this: “It Comes at Night” centers around six people —
Paul (Joel Edgerton, who also served as executive producer), his
wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo), their teenage son Travis (Kelvin
Harrison Jr), Will (Christopher Abbott), his wife Kim (Riley
Keough) and toddler son Andrew (Griffin Robert Faulkner). Also a
are in a situation wherein death lurks everywhere and the keys
to survival include being prepared, being very careful and if
necessary, very ruthless and unemotional.
Ah, but what
about trust? That is the underlying and haunting fear that
prevails in this movie. Every interaction between Paul and his
family and Will and his family is magnified by each word,
movement and even body language that can be tragically
firmly logical and focused on what is necessary to keep everyone
safe, is solidly in charge, the emotional core here is Travis.
At a time in his life when he could be immersed in social media,
budding love and athletics, he instead is stuck in an existence
bereft of friends and fun. Yet he is not a brooding teen. He is
a good kid, respectful of his parents and devoted to the care of
his dog Stanley. But the poor kid suffers some terrifying
nightmares that make him an insomniac and particularly keen at
sensing potential danger.
script succeeds at keeping the viewer on edge. Even as things
seem to settle into a mundane and safe routine, there is a sense
of foreboding, a tenuous relationship that is threatened not
only by outside circumstances that led these six individuals to
their risk-laden existence, but also the constant reminder that
other people of whom they are sharing space are essentially
strangers and may be harboring a secret and possibly deadly
Running at a brisk 91 minutes, the
movie, as directed by Shults in what is only his second
full-length feature, maintains an aura of uneasiness. Whatever
dangers these six people face from the outside, they are
constantly stalked by the unnerving reality that even within a
small fortress they have built, the fragile set-up they have
established could go horribly wrong at the slightest
provocation. Shults then leaves the ending up in the air, and
the viewers must ponder what happens next.
modest $13 million in three weeks in release, “It Comes at
Night” is not likely to be booked in theaters for long. But this
is a movie well worth checking out when it moves to other
"It Comes at Night" Official Trailer: