In The Deep (47 Metres Down)

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In my recent review of The Shallows I expressed my surprised joy at the film world finally making a decent shark movie;  because since Jaws there has been a dearth of well made movies featuring that great white fear we all share, and that was the 70’s for chrissakes!

Well guess what shark-o-philes – there’s not one decent shark movie this year, there’s two!

In the Deep is everything The Shallows wasn’t – dark and murky instead of broad daylight, gruesome graphic effects instead of Shallows’ more discreet thrills, big schlocky fun instead of introspection, and a hell of a lot more sharks.

Telling the story of sisters in their twenties on holiday in Mexico – one mousy and demure, with life embracing lessons to learn (Lisa – Mandy Moore), one more free-willed (Kate – Clare Holt) who decide (at the urging of their brand new Mexican paramours) to do a shark dive out in the deepest Mexican waters. Overcoming trepidation they take the plunge, only to find themselves in a world of trouble when through a series of technical mishaps they find themselves in the fallen observation cage at the bottom of the ocean, away from communication with the circling boat above and only those hungry cruising sharks to keep them company… and their oxygen is running out.

Performances are believable, the bond between the sisters well realised and tangible. The effects are great, the scares work, the music by Tomandandy wonderful as always and adds a dreamy feel to some parts of this high anxiety tale.

Trust me, if you were nervous about sharks, the ocean or scuba diving before, this film ain’t gunna help!

As written and directed by Johannes Roberts and featuring an integral turn by Matthew Modine as the captain (so so good to see him back on our screens!) this is taut stuff, a ‘what would I do?’ exploration of survival under the toughest of odds, involving and fearless.

This is an exercise in tension – indeed some parts I couldn’t watch, others I was yelling at the screen. This film sucks you in from the get go and then just tightens those screws.

Better, this story has a sharp little twist in the tail, a WTF ending I did not see coming that made it all the more chilling and memorable.

I was impressed by this one; its an adrenaline rush but has more to it than expected. A notable and nail-biting addition to the horror movie world.

See it.

But make sure you’re not planning on swimming any time soon.

8/10

 

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