Opening 10 Oct 2019
Four teenaged girls are friends at the Modine International School for girls: Mia (Sophie Nélisse), Sasha (Corinne Foxx), Alexa (BrianneTju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone). Sasha’s father Grant (John Corbett) is an archaeologist, who works underwater. Therefore, the girls have access to scuba diving equipment, oxygen tanks, and flashlights. Instead of traveling out onto the water in a boat with other school friends, they chose to swim alone, very isolated. Soon they are all underwater, entering a cave and exploring the historic Maya City ruins: statues and skeletons. Sasha’s father is also working underwater with his associates Carl and Ben, but in a more distant place, so that the girls feel free to explore in forbidden areas. Then the excitement begins. The tunnel collapses and they must seek a new exit. They lose their way, lose each other, and cry for help; rescue lines break, and the sharks attack. Luckily they find Grant, Carl, and Ben underwater, but the sharks do as well.
The opening in this 90-minute film shows a sea accompanied by ominous music, which sets us in the right mood for scary action of which at least 70 minutes occur underwater. The girls soon run out of oxygen and I, too, felt that I could not breathe. The sharks are actors in their own right, menacingly filling up the screen with repeated attacks. Much is repetitive, so that the main reason to continue watching is curiosity about the ending. Definitely not good.
There seems to be a special effort to present multi-culturalism as Mia is blond, Alexa is Asian, Nicole looks more Hispanic, while Sasha is African-American. Mia and Sasha are stepsisters with a blond father and a black mother, a patchwork family. All are interesting new actresses, for which one might chose to see the film, besides, of course, the computer-created, sexy sharks. I still wonder how divers can communicate with each other underwater, but: in movies everything is possible. This first played at the Fantasy Film Festival in German cities and was filmed in a water tank near London; land scenes were filmed in the Dominican Republic. It is a sequel to 47 Meters Down which came out in 2017. (Becky Tan)