47 Meters Down: Uncaged Review: Stay out of the water – cause it sucks
Ah, here we are again with another horror movie where sharks smell blood in the water and hunt down every human they see. At least, that’s how these movies make sharks look. Personally, these movies have lost their bite and ultimately just leave a dull impression. Although there’re some films that change the current of this genre, writer/director Johannes Roberts’ sequel to 47 Meters Down both creates no new waves and is one of the worst watches of 2019.
The film follows a group of teen girls as their diving adventure into an ancient underwater city takes a terrible turn when they are caved in after a collapse. While they really don’t know how to navigate through the caves and they have limited air to breathe, there’s of course deadly sharks that roam this cave that are hungry and will eat anything in sight. So, with damn near anything and everything against the group of girls, they must figure out a way to escape the cave and the sharks before they meet a grim death.
Honestly, after watching 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, I feel like I could write a novel about of the things that don’t make sense and that are just laughably dumb. The film explains none of the diving tech they are using or anything about them, so their decisions and logic just leave viewers confused. Somehow, even though they are underwater and there’s no device around their ears, they can talk and hear one another perfectly. Everyone acts completely irrational throughout the film and the panic-filled sequences of characters screaming just becomes annoying after a while. There’s even a moment that’s straight out of Deep Blue Sea and what’s worse is that there’s no emotional connection that viewers can have with these characters because they’re so unlikable.
I never got the sense that the characters actually cared for one another or that they seemed capable enough to care about. Even Mia (Sophie Nelisse), a character that’s meant to be the “sensible one” of the group, eventually catches everyone else’s uselessness and it gives viewers no one to root for. There’s even a sequence where Nicole (Sistine Rose Stallone) completely foils an escape option for the group and it made me just wish that she would die quicker and applaud when she did. There’s actually such little connection or care that you can have for these characters that you’ll literally be checked out of the film within the first 20 minutes. The film likes to break it own rules and just add things to keep the plot going. Frankly, the entire last sequence feels completely tacked on and there’s a moment where the girls can only hold their breath for a short time, but they are there for quite some time.
Even Roberts’ direction and set-ups for scares lead to viewers laughing more than feeling any sort of fear. A lot of times the way the film builds scares is the typical jump scare formula with long winded silence and calmness that is rudely interrupted by the appearance of something scary or a loud noise. Personally, I think this can be a cheap way to scare someone and here it’s so ineffective that it just makes viewers laugh. A lot of time these scares are just predictable with sharks just surprising characters and there’s even a moment where a red light is flashing underwater and a shark comes into frame with its mouth open as the light flashes and I couldn’t stop laughing. Roberts also overuses slow-motion shots, especially in the film’s final sequence, and it makes moments where viewers are supposed to be on the edge of their seats and care about what’s happening with the characters comical. Not to mention, the CGI looks terrible and even while the design of the sharks is interesting, you immediately forget about it once you see them in action.
From the terrible characters to the lack of scares, it’s safe to say that 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is not worth diving into. It’s actually crazy to me how Roberts went from making one of my favorite films from last year, The Strangers: Prey at Night, to making a film that’s easily one of the worst I’ve seen this year. There might seem like there’s blood in the water to see this shark flick, but it’s gone bad.