8. 47 Metres Down: Uncaged (2019)
Uncaged is a companion piece rather than a sequel to 47 Metres Down (2017).
Fractious stepsisters Mia (Sophie Nélisse) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx) try to bond as they explore the hidden Mayan city that Mia’s father is excavating. One wrong move will see a band of ancient sharks set loose. Their habitat in the caves has left them blind but with all their other senses heightened. Guess what happens next?
47 Metres Down: Uncaged falls into the So Bad It’s Good category, and gets an extra point as one of the members of the group drowns rather than is eaten. Shark film lore means humans can hold their breath for an exponential amount of time and its nice to see that challenged. The ending also deserves special mention because it’s memorable (even if it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons) in a genre of film that seems to thrive on truly forgettable movies.
7. The Reef (2010)
Based on true events, The Reef follows a group of friends as their boat capsizes on their way to Indonesia.
Directed by Andrew Traucki – the man behind 2007 saltwater crocodile creature feature Black Water – the filmmaker proves he has found his thing and is running with it.
Rather than using special effects, The Reef uses footage of real sharks, meaning it is quite a beautiful film. Unlike most shark films it is a tight cast, not much apart from swimming, screaming and surviving is going on. Its realism, lack of distracting ridiculousness, and the fact it’s based on a true story, means that for any sufferers of galeophobia this is probably the scariest film on the list.
6. 47 Metres Down (2017)
Lisa (Mandy Moore) wants to prove to her sister Kate (Claire Holt) that she is fun, hip and happening. Reluctantly she agrees to go down in a cage with great whites. The boat crew are drunk and seem less than capable so it’s unsurprising when it turns out their cage is faulty, and they plummet 47 metres down. Trapped in the cage with a chum-frenzied shark circling.
The shark isn’t Lisa and Kate’s only problem as some very helpful foreshadowing warns the viewer that narcosis (nitrogen saturation of the blood that can cause hallucinations) is a very real possibility. Much of 47 Metres Down happens underwater and kudos should be given to actors who manage to convey any emotion while their face is wrapped up in a scuba mask.