Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Shark-in-the-Dark Terror Strikes at '47 Meters Down'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Shark-in-the-Dark Terror Strikes at '47 Meters Down'

Article excerpt

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Waterfront, along comes "47 Meters Down" to rev up your galeophobia.

That's a fear of sharks, not of Galileo, and only one of our two sister-protagonists seems susceptible to it - at the outset.

That would be Lisa (Mandy Moore), so timorous and luckless that her boyfriend (rather wisely) dumps her on the eve of their romantic getaway to the Mexican coast. Her gung-ho, adventurous sister Kate (Claire Holt) agrees to replace him at the last minute and uses the occasion to goad fearful Lisa into a shark cage-diving expedition, led by some local randos they meet in a beach-side bar.

The next morning at the pier, they meet Taylor (Matthew Modine), captain of the world's most rickety floating rust bucket, in an obvious state of disrepair - the crew as well as the boat. But our girls are given state-of-the-art scuba gear with built-in microphones and speakers so they can communicate with each other and the guys above.

"I don't even know how to dive!" Lisa protests.

"Don't worry," they assure her. "It'll be a snap!"

Will that flimsy cable tethering their cage be the same?

A few buckets of blood are poured into the water, and - presto! - the sharks appear. But no jets rescue the chicks, soon trapped on the ocean floor, the great whites circling and charging, with less than an hour of oxygen (and running time) left.

Actually, FYI, the amount of breathing time in a tank of compressed air decreases with depth. At 47 meters (154 feet) you'd get about 25 minutes - less under stress or panic, such as that induced by shark encirclement.

Director-writer Johannes Roberts, who has two previous cliche-based horror films to his credit ("Storage 24" and "The Other Side of the Door"), adds a twist involving the life-saving extra air tank dropped from above and frantically retrieved below. …

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