Review: “In the Deep” Is A Good, Not Great, Shark Movie



Title: In the Deep
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Posted July 29, 2016 by

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Alright. A lot of weird things going on with this movie so I’m not even sure this review will be necessary until next Summer, but we’re going to go with it anyway. Let’s start at the beginning: “In the Deep” was actually the original title for the Blake Lively shark movie, but that got changed to “The Shallows“. There’s another shark movie also made in 2016 (this one) that stars Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket), Mandy Moore (A Walk To Remember), and Claire Holt (The Vampire Diaries). The title of that film was originally “47 Meters Down”, but I’m guessing the producers felt like that could be mistaken for a submarine movie starring (enter mediocre talent name here) so they took the original title from “The Shallows” and named their movie “In the Deep”. Still with me? Okay. “In the Deep” was set to be released on DVD and VOD August 2nd (hence reviews are being written about it) but because “The Shallows” didn’t cost a lot to make and seemed to do pretty good at the box office, Deadline reported that Freestyle Media has purchased the movie with the plans to release it in theaters some time in 2017 (my money is on a Summer release). If this didn’t make a ton of sense, Bloody Disgusting breaks it down.  So, even though the film will come out long after most reviewers have forgotten about it, let’s jump into the review.

A lot of weird things going on with this movie

Sisters Lisa and Kate (Moore and Holt) go on a trip to Mexico to go shark diving. Kate seems to be doing it for the thrill of coming close to sharks and Lisa seems to be doing it to scare the broken heart out of herself after her boyfriend left her. They board a boat captained by Taylor (Modine) and are excited when a shark around twenty feet comes swimming around the spot they’re about to jump into. So far so good. Once inside the cage and lowered into the water, the great white begins to immediately circle them and they couldn’t be happier. That is until the cable connected to their cage snaps and sends them plummeting to the bottom of the ocean (that’s where the title ’47 Meters Down’ comes into play). With their oxygen quickly depleting and the chance of help reaching them before the sharks do seeming impossible, Lisa and Kate do everything they can to get back to safety but the odds are stacked against them and the dark and vast ocean serves as a terrifying maze that’s full of danger.


If you had to compare this movie to any other, which I despise doing for personal reasons but it makes sense, I would say this is a lot like Open Water meets Gravity. Director Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door) expertly shows us what it would be like to be that far down into the ocean and the terror of it is dizzying and horrific.

I would say this is a lot like Open Water meets Gravity

Not being able to see four feet in front of you when predators are lurking and one wrong move could cause you to swim in the wrong direction until you gave up is a scary situation no one wants to deal with, but if you think it would give you a thrill but don’t want to risk your life you should watch this movie. Mandy Moore and Claire Holt do a good job at portraying their characters that are stuck in this ordeal without coming across annoying; despite the fact that they yell a lot as if anyone could actually hear them. Their fear feels authentic and you really get a sense of the danger they’re in when they’re swimming in one spot and their legs dangle into the abyss that is the body of water. I liked how at the very beginning of them dealing with they’re situation, they are hesitant to leave the safety of the cage they’re in but gradually build the courage to venture out and try to find a way to safety. What I didn’t like is that once they’re comfortable swimming around, I felt the time they use swimming high enough up in order to contact Taylor and the boat could have been used slowly swimming back to them instead of diving back down and hiding in the cage. Once you seemingly beat the fear enough to be that vulnerable to a shark attack, I feel you’d just say “to hell with it” and try to make it all the way up.

Here’s where the film would repeatedly lose me: the sharks — while realistic looking enough — would continuously side swipe the girls or come extremely close to them only to bite at nothing and barely miss them. If you’re going to put your characters in harm’s way, put them in harm’s way. Don’t use the sharks for jump scares that don’t pay off; it feels cheap and unrealistic. There’s one scene in particular where one of the girls is just barely missed by the jaws of the great white and a little later when she’s swimming back to safety a diver trying to help them pops up out of literally nowhere and warns her to get back to the cage right before the shark takes him out. Seemed weird that it wouldn’t kill one of the stars of the movie but would have no problem taking out the supporting cast member inches away from her.

Johannes does what “The Shallows” couldn’t, however, and that’s actually use the reality of the situation to play into the terror of the film. These girls can’t just swim as fast as possible back to the top because of  the risk of getting the bends and even if they get their hands on extra oxygen tanks, they run the risk of nitrogen poisoning which causes hallucinations. Johannes doesn’t just throw these little tidbits in to make everything seem impossible, he actually uses the realistic probability of these things happening to effect the outcome of the movie and it works.

I’m still a firm believer in showing the shark as little as possible in these kinds of movies — or at least making it so it’s not dead set on attacking every human that comes across its path — but “In the Deep” or “47 Meters Down” does enough of the interesting things effectively that I would recommend this movie to anyone that felt cheated by its predecessors.






    It’s really not realistic at all. The girls wouldn’t have been able to equalize that fast on the way down, oxygen down at that depth lasts about 3 minutes, temperature of the water is way colder and hypothermia would have set in, and Great Whites do not behave that way.

    You may want to review your facts before trying to say this situation is realistic because it wouldn’t even happen


      When I talked about the realism of the situation I was referring to the bends and certain situations brought up in the film. Not everything about it. If you’re going to comment, you may want to review what you believe are facts before doing so. Thanks for reading though!

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