On the twenty-fourth Day of Halloween: The Shallows (2016) and 47 Meters Down (2017)
Since I have a marked lack of creature survival horror in my Halloweenathon, how about a shark attack double feature?
While 47 Meters Down and The Shallows are both intense examples of survival horror, they have one key difference that makes the scary land completely differently. The Shallows is about honoring family and accidentally ending up in shark danger. And 47 Meters Down is about putting your family in harm’s way because you have an addiction to danger, and have escalated terribly.
In The Shallows, Mrs Deadpool, I mean Blake Lively, plays Nancy, a grieving medical student who decides to find the hidden Mexican beach her mother had spoken so fondly of before her untimely death. The Shallows takes its time developing Nancy’s character, so much that even when you know a shark’s on the way you’re already hoping for the best for her. The fact that she’s a champion surfer as well as a doctor-in-training adds levels of survival realism that many other films in this genre lack. It also has fantastic found-footage aspects that make this fabulous hybrid horror.
47 Meters Down follows Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) also on vacation in Mexico as adrenaline junkie Kate wants to free dive with sharks off the tourist track. Lisa isn’t here for it at all, AND has no scuba training. But Kate pressures her into it, the first signs that all is not well with their relationship. After their cage wore snaps and drops them 47 meters, the sisters and the audience lose track of what’s real.
Both films are terrifying in separate ways. And both are equally impressive in that the actors all did the majority of their own stunts, above and underwater.
✨Steven Seagull/5 stars. Highly recommend staying out of the damn ocean.✨