47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
Directed By: Johannes Roberts
Written By: Ernest Riera, Johannes Roberts
47 Meters Down took me by surprise. I hadn’t heard of it before stumbling upon it on Netflix one lazy afternoon and I was impressed with the film. It was an interesting take on the shark movie and a lot of fun. Plus, it features one of the best jump scares ever. So, I was curious about what would be done with a sequel.
Unfortunately director Johannes Roberts couldn’t deliver a film as interesting as the first. The concept is okay, it opens the world up more while still feeling claustrophobic, think The Descent with sharks and you get the idea. If only it could live up to the description.
The setup for Uncaged is solid. It’s about two teenage step-sisters who don’t really get along but they are forced to spend the day together. Their father is working on a project exploring an underwater city built by the Aztec’s and through a series of contrivances the step-sisters and two friends dive down to explore the city. Once underwater things get out of hand.
It’s not a terrible premise but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. I spent more time laughing than I did screaming and I don’t think this is supposed to be a comedy. Everything from the girl bumping a column and causing a city that is thousands of years old to collapse like dominoes to the ridiculous number of times the sharks jump out of the water at the end. I just couldn’t stop laughing because the entire thing seemed ridiculous.
From a technical stand point the film is confusing. It’s a dark movie because it takes place underwater. Every character is wearing a scuba mask because they are underwater. This made it difficult to tell the characters apart and to distinguish which one was speaking. Add in the scenes where they are swimming away from sharks and it was tough to tell what was happening on screen and who it was happening to.
There are CGI fish that look exactly like CGI fish. The sharks that they are dealing with have evolved in the caves underground and have no eyes or pigmentation so they look like zombie sharks or something, which sounds cool but took me out of the movie more than anything else.
Ultimately, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged can’t overcome the problems that derail a lot of sequels. It tries to up the ante and do things bigger than before but fails to execute. Maybe if you go into the theater hoping to see a great comedy it will work for you but if you want to see a good horror movie, I’m sad to report that this won’t be it.