“47 Meters Down” made me so anxious — like, the most anxious
Needless to say, there are a ton of spoilers below!!!
Let’s make this clear: I really liked 47 Meters Down, and found it to be an inventive take on the summer shark genre. But I was also really anxious watching much of the film — like, so deeply anxious.
I had sweaty, clammy palms as Mandy Moore’s Lisa and Claire Holt’s Kate fell, in their diving cage, 47 meters to the ocean floor and then had to find their way back up — all while their oxygen was dwindling and sharks were lingering nearby. Oh, and then there was the ever-present threat of the bends.
That’s all to say that the film is actually terrifying. So here are the 47 elements and moments that scared the shit out of me, in rough chronological order.
1. The foreboding score.
2. The hangover that you know is coming from Lisa and Kate’s partying.
3. The bloody chum being thrown into the water. Yes, they want to attract sharks, but you know that’s only going to lead to trouble.
4. The mental toll that Lisa’s ex is taking on her, prompting her to be more adventurous — but for the wrong reasons. Girl, you don’t need to prove anything to Stuart!
5. The very apparent lack of qualifications of the men taking Lisa and Kate out for this cage dive. I know Lisa and Kate are trying to be spontaneous and whatever, but LinkedIn exists for a reason, so take a look at those endorsements.
6. Just the shark-infested waters of Mexico in general. Having watched a good amount of Shark Week, I’ve seen the massive great whites that hang around there — and I’ll stick to land, thank you.
7. The first shark to take viewers by surprise, when it comes up from below and chomps on Kate’s borrowed underwater camera that she dropped through the cage. #butterfingers
8. The cage breaking from the boat and falling to the ocean floor, which we knew was coming — because trailers — but was still so scary nonetheless.
9. The sound of Lisa and Kate panicking. It’s like you can feel their oxygen being used up as they start breathing quickly and heavily upon realizing the serious danger that they’re in.
10. Lisa’s anxiety. It’s like I absorbed all of that, and none of Kate’s calm.
11. Kate taking off her mask underwater so she can slip through the cage to move the steel that’s trapping them inside said cage. She was so exposed, and I was on edge.
12. Kate swimming up a bit to reach the boat’s communication system, because she has shitty reception at 47 meters. Again, she’s so vulnerable.
13. Literally, Lisa and Kate pretty much never know when sharks are nearby.
Okay, let’s take a quick dolphin break because this is pretty stressful.
And now, here we go again.
14. The darkness that masks everything.
15. The threat of the bends, which “happens when gas bubbles form in tissues or the blood during a rapid ascent,” according to BBC. Also, the bends can be lethal.
16. The majority of the film takes place underwater, and it made me feel very claustrophobic.
17. All the times Lisa and Kate bang on the cage to call attention to themselves to try and get help, but were probably just attracting sharks.
18. Kate’s air getting DANGEROUSLY low.
19. The boat sounding like it’s leaving. How could you (maybe) do that Captain Taylor?!
20. When Lisa and Kate see a flashlight in the distance and they think it’s coming from Javier, one of the guys they befriended who encouraged them to go on the dive. It appears he’s reached the bottom with a line to pull them back up. So Lisa goes out to investigate, and a shark comes out of the blue (ha!) and comes after her, but she takes shelter behind some rocks and is okay.
21. Then, she finds the flashlight, but not Javier, and starts waving it everywhere — also likely attracting shark-y attention.
22. Even worse, her sense of direction is totally thrown off and she has no idea where she came from.
23. Oh wait, she finds Javier, so all is good right? Wrong, SO FREAKING WRONG. Because, just as soon as she finds Javier, he gets attacked by a shark — and dies.
24. So that was awful, but Lisa and Kate attach the line sent down by the boat and the boat starts to lift them up — that is, UNTIL THAT LINE SNAPS AND THEY FALL AGAIN.
25. This one deserves some extra attention. You think they’re in the clear, but the second line snaps and it’s like ALL. HOPE. IS. LOST.
Phew, let’s take another breather with another dolphin — because it gets really real from here.
Alright, ready to freak out more?!
26. When they fall that second time, Lisa gets her leg trapped underneath the cage. So, she’s totally helpless, and has to rely on Kate to grab the oxygen sent by the boat.
27. Kate does get the oxygen, but then…she gets attacked by a shark, and we don’t know if she’s alive?!
28. But actually, IS KATE ALIVE??!!!
29. So, Lisa’s 47 meters down and trapped beneath a cage — and seemingly very much on her own.
30. Now, her oxygen is low and what was sent down by the boat is out of reach. She reaches for a speargun to try and pull the oxygen to her, but before she can do that, she shoots her hand and blood pours out.
31. Thankfully, she gets the oxygen just in time — and better yet, Kate is alive. But, she’s bleeding everywhere — making Lisa’s speargun injury look like child’s play.
32. Now, they have no choice but to swim in the open ocean, a whole 47 meters up — and remember that thing called the bends?
33. They use a flare to keep the sharks at bay and when that goes out, they’re in total darkness — and you know shit is about to go down.
34. Guess what? They drop a flare, so byeeeeee resources.
35. When they finally light another flare, they see multiple sharks surrounding them — and I couldn’t even. Even worse, they’re forced to remain there to readjust as they ascend, because the bends.
36. But, when the flare goes out, they just have to swim for it. (You do realize that sharks swim a lot faster than human beings, right?)
37. That’s when shit really hits the fan. There are multiple attacks, and I’m basically just watching all this through my fingers because I’m too stressed out.
Finally, another dolphin.
Goodbye, happy place.
38. Lisa and Kate are badly injured, but they make it to the boat, BUT I start wondering if they’re going to live because that first aid kit looks so weak.
39. There’s just, so much blood. But, everything is okay, everything is fine.
40. EXCEPT NO, IT’S NOT FINE.
41. BECAUSE LISA IS HALLUCINATING THIS WHOLE THING.
42. BECAUSE NITROGEN BUBBLES ARE FUCKING WITH HER HEAD. NITROGEN BUBBLES THAT GOT THERE BECAUSE SOMETHING WENT WRONG WHEN SHE SWITCHED OXYGEN TANKS.
43. So, now she has to basically relive the trauma of losing her sister as she comes down from this hallucination.
44. And now, she has to live with this trauma for the rest of her damn life.
45. Can you imagine trying to live a normal life after that? How do you even attempt that?!
46. I’m going to have all the nightmares.
47. Also…what if there’s a sequel? I’ll inevitably watch, and get scared all over again.
TLDR; 47 Meters Down scared the shit out of me, but you should still see it.