47 Meters Down (2017)
I remember this film coming out to mixed reviews from audiences and critics. Having seen it pop up countless times on multiple streaming services over the years, I just never found myself drawn into give it a chance and considering I am a big big shark feature fan, I'm not entirely sure why. This goes to show how varied people's tastes are, as for me this is a stand out within the horror subgenre. One thing that really stood out to me (more than most shark features) is how the sharks are more a byproduct of the situation and not the necessarily the main focus of the protagonists peril. Having very minimal screen time, the sharks feel more like an impending situation rather than an active problem confronting them. This approach did infact amplify the edge-of-your-seat feeling throughout. Combining these moments with an extremely intense score creates a truly anxiety fuelled experience, perfectly building momentum in key scenes and providing effective and consistent unease. I have no prior knowledge of the two lead actresses in this film, Lisa played by Mandy Moore and Kate played by Clair Holt. Although I found the dialogue conversations between them earlier on was putting on displays the weaker side of their acting capabilities, once in the cage things vastly improved, both delivering equally as convincing performances. The only recognisable face in this for me was that of actor Mathew Modine who plays Captain Taylor, someone I felt was slightly under utilised in this film. I think shots intertwining back and forth from the surface and the cage would have made for a better overall pace and flow. I'm still rather torn on my opinions regarding the last act of this film, and for those who have seen it I'm sure you will understand why. These closing moments contain some of the more dramatic and better looking scenes, including a scene in which both Lisa and Kate are swimming to the surface with the aid of flairs to keep the sharks at bay - there is a duration between flairs and when the next is lit they are surrounded. This not only does this look incredible but it was one of the more heart pounding jump scares I have witnessed in some time. From this moment on, as the girls scrambled to the surface in what is a relentless onslaught - it looks phenomenal, featuring some horrifying practical work and some of the more convincing sharks I've seen used on screen. Regardless of my issues with the ending, (something I'm still unsure if I found genius or cheated by) this is still a strong recommendation from me. It felt like one of the more realistic shark features and created some genuinely unexpected moments of high tension. It visually looks incredible, except from the odd little bits of glaring CGI here and there, but nothing to warrant a complaint. As someone who is a big fan of this subgenre, I came away very satisfied.