Synopsis: Two sisters are on a trip to Mexico. One day, Kate forces Lisa to go scuba diving with sharks. She’s not prepared whatsoever, has a panic attack before she’s even in the water, but does whatever she can to make her sister happy because she’s stupid.
Year Released: 2017
Director: Johannes Roberts
Movie Pitch: Let’s take two girls who aren’t divers, stick them in bikinis, and send them to the bottom of the ocean full of 20ft. sharks.
Favorite Death: Javier dies first in this movie. I think it’s hilarious because he sees Lisa, tries to tell her something, and is immediately beheaded by a shark. We later learn this is a theme and all the sharks in this movie behead their victims. You know, like in nature.
Funniest Part: The funniest part of this movie happens over and over again. This movie seeks to be original with their sharks. Therefore, these sharks aren’t the kind you’ll find anywhere else. These sharks are attracted to stupidity, not blood.
There is one specific scene, close to the end that illustrates this perfectly. Lisa has her leg trapped under the cage, but Kate is still alive and she has to go rescue her. In the process of escaping, Lisa cuts one hand on a harpoon, the other on a thin cable, and then scrapes up her leg removing it from the cage. However, there are no sharks to be found. When she does eventually escape, the sharks start attacking her and Kate as they get closer to the surface. This makes a lot of sense, but turns out to have been a hallucination by Lisa, who has been waving her bloody hand around for 10 minutes at the bottom of the ocean, with no sharks around.
The sharks in this movie aren’t attracted to blood aside from Lisa’s hallucination. They show up when Lisa swims across a gorge, when Kate is changing her oxygen tank, and when they’re trying to contact the surface. I found that hilarious.
What they did right: The ending was actually really clever. Kate turns out to actually be dead, Lisa is still stuck and hopeless until the Coast Guard arrives, and the sharks aren’t constantly circling them. It’s realistic and sad. I kinda wish Lisa had died too, but I’m glad they didn’t bring her back to the surface only to have Kate sitting on the boat waiting for her.
Special effects and lighting: Pretty good I guess. The water was really murky which led to a lot of shark-related jump scares, but overall was fine. The biggest thing was that they really upped the blue in this movie to make the water seem blue and clear, so everything else that’s blue, especially the masks and oxygen tanks, is contrasted really brightly against the rest of the scene.
What I thought would happen: This movie was extremely predictable. While I didn’t see the end coming, I assumed Kate would die. I knew the first rescue attempt wouldn’t work, someone important would be eaten by a shark, and one of the girls would experience side effects from being so far down for so long. Nothing really came as a surprise until I found out the whole ending was a hallucination.
This review is going to get science-y at points because I did actual research to see if what the movie showed was actually accurate according to real life. I like movies to be accurate and for scary things to be real, so I’m sorry if that puts a damper on this review for you.
The movie begins with two girls swimming in a pool, there is some dialogue about how Lisa (played by Mandy Moore) wishes her boyfriend Scott (or whatever his name is) could be there. The next scene, we see Lisa sitting on the deck of their hotel room crying. Kate (played by Claire Holt with a really bad American accent) goes over to comfort her. We find out Lisa and Scott broke up before she came with Kate to Mexico. This isn’t ever relevant to the movie and only serves to make the movie dramatic before we get to know the characters.
Once Kate realizes Lisa is sad, she suggests going out to a party at 1AM. At the party, they meet two guys we are never introduced to. Later the next day, Kate convinces Lisa to go scuba diving, even though Kate has had training and Lisa has not. Lisa is incredibly nervous but because Kate is a BAD SISTER she pretty much forces her to do it anyway.
This bad idea is later reinforced when they arrive at the doc, where the creepy captain something awaits. His name started with a J, but it’s not important. As he stands in the dinghy, he asks the two girls if they’ve ever been SCUBA DIVING. You might wonder why that’s in all-caps. Well, that’s because when the two say “uh yeah, sure” he takes them to his boat, where on the deck is a RUSTY SHARK CAGE.
Now, I don’t know much about diving, but when I think scuba diving, I don’t think rusty shark cages. In my experience, you have to be trained and carefully monitored when you enter rusty shark cages. Kate has had basic diving training, but Lisa has not. Therefore, neither of them have had the training necessary to go into a RUSTY SHARK CAGE OMG.
Apparently seeing past Lisa’s panic attack, the captain briefly goes over how to read her oxygen meter and how to breathe underwater. You’d think this would indicate that she has no idea what she’s doing, but nope.
The two girls put on their oxygen packs over literal bikinis and head into the rusty shark cage. It’s all cool and whatever, they see fish and two gigantic sharks. Kate is all bug-eyed, but Lisa is worried for obvious reasons. The rusty shark cage then jolts a bit and they sink slightly lower into the water. Lisa gets more worried and asks to come back to the surface. Kate, being a BAD SISTER once again, convinces her to stay. Why, I’m not sure. She saw her sharks, got her experience with creepy dudes in Mexico, and has a cool story to tell her grandkids.
Lisa is persistent though, and as the cage is being lifted to let them out, something goes wrong and they plummet 47 meters down to the floor of the ocean.
Now, some science for your brains: I did the most minimal amount of research I could, and found that for every 33 feet someone dives, the weight of the water above them increases by 15 pounds per square inch. In this movie, the girls fall 47 meters down to the ocean floor.
That’s 154.199 feet.
At 100 feet underwater, the tissues of your lungs begin to contract; this gives the diver an innate sense that they must return to the surface. During deep dives, a diver’s heart rate can dip to 14 beats per minute which, in case you were wondering, is about a third of the rate of a person in a coma.
At a deep enough level, your lungs would collapse completely because the surrounding water pressure is so dense compared to the air pressure within your body.
When you go deeper than 100 feet, the blood in your body literally redirects itself to the most important parts of your body (heart and brain). Combined with the cold temperatures and exposed skin (i.e. the girl’s being in literal bikinis) they would likely freeze to death. Or they would die because their hearts are beating so much blood through their bodies at a very slow pace.
Professional free divers don’t go past 400 feet. But because you can’t exactly study human trials for this kind of thing, no one really knows how deep you can go. However, divers who go this deep are trained and often come to the surface with symptoms like coughing up blood and/or could pass out from the redistribution of blood.
I got all of that info from this article: https://www.medicaldaily.com/breaking-point-how-much-water-pressure-can-human-body-take-347570
These girls are at the level where their bodies are telling them to return to the surface. Their blood is beginning to redirect it’s flow, and they’re half naked so they are likely freezing. I find that particular fact hilarious because they never mention they’re cold until Kate says “I’m so cold” as she’s dying in Lisa’s hallucination.
Yeah Kate, I’m sure you are cold. You’ve been 150 feet underwater for three hours and are wearing a bikini.
Anyway, the girls fall down, Kate slips between the bars of the cage to try and get close enough to the surface to communicate with the boat, and is basically told to stay there so she doesn’t get the bends or get eaten by a shark.
More science: I found a great example of what “The bends” is using a bottle of soda.
So basically, when the bottle is opened, the pressure is released and leaves the soda via bubbles. As a diver gets closer to the surface, it’s like they’re releasing the pressure. Because Nitrogen isn’t used while they’re diving, it builds up in their system and is unused. So when they get to the surface, if they don’t decompress every for 5 minutes every 20 feet (measurements according to the movie), they could have nitrogen bubbles float up into their brain and into the different tissues of their body.
Symptoms can include rashes, exhaustion, paralysis, and loss of consciousness.
I learned that from this article: https://www.emedicinehealth.com/decompression_syndromes_the_bends/article_em.htm#symptoms_of_the_bends
I believe this is what Lisa experiences at the end because the movie tells us you can also have hallucinations with this disease.
A lot of little things happen to fill the space of the movie. Lisa swims across a gorge to find a flashlight. At one point, they try to get rescued but the cable is too small so it doesn’t hold the cage (then the cage falls and traps Lisa’s leg underneath it). And finally there are a lot of scenes where blood is present and doesn’t attract sharks.
One blip of movie I found frustrating in particular is where Kate changes out her oxygen tank.
This is super dangerous, here’s the last bit of science to tell you why: On a training site for divers I came across a hypothetical situation in which a diver switches his tank underwater. Basically it’s a really bad idea because not only the mask, but the air hose would fill up with water, you cut off your oxygen supply, and it could affect the equipment in a way that would make it unusable.
They even have devices to help divers breathe for the time it takes them to replace their tanks, but those don’t work safely in high pressure areas (i.e. 47 meters underwater).
This story comes from this article: https://www.scubadiving.com/training/basic-skills/switching-tanks
So, according to science and fancy scuba people, what Kate just did was more dangerous than swimming with sharks. This actually happens more than once, Kate and Lisa both do it successfully which is super lucky. Unfortunately Kate dies shortly after she does it, by, you know, the big evil beheading sharks.
At the end, we’re led to believe that the girls are haggard but rescued. There’s a whole scene where Kate turns out to be alive, contacts Lisa, she escapes, and makes it up to the surface. They’re attacked by sharks and by the skin of their teeth, make it onto the boat and have their wounds treated.
Unfortunately, this turns out to be fake news. Lisa is hallucinating the whole thing as she stares at her bloody hand, her leg still stuck under the cage.
I loved the ending of this movie because it was sad and not everything was ok. Kate died and Lisa went crazy. I loved it and didn’t see it coming.
However, that does not make the rest of the movie okay. The rest of the movie is dull, dumb, and stupid. We known nothing about the characters, the entire movie is comprised of them trying to save each other back and forth or be saved. Though they remind themselves throughout the whole movie to conserve their oxygen, they hyperventilate, talk, laugh, and moan in pain for no reason. I mean seriously, the scene where Lisa is trying to grab the extra oxygen tank with the harpoon hook AND the scene where she rescues Kate could be confused for porn if you couldn’t see what was happening.
The ending was the only redeemable part, and it wasn’t even close to scientifically accurate. That makes me mad, so this movie gets a Nope.
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