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Shark-Bait Sequel Delivers the Goods

Returning to the nicely — or on this case, a submerged cave system — for his second movie by which thrills are in additional considerable provide than oxygen, Johannes Roberts reconfirms the enduring dramatic alchemy of a hungry shark and a smorgasbord of delicious-looking folks along with his skillful, handsomely-mounted “47 Meters Down: Uncaged.”

Spiraling off from his 2017 predecessor to inform a brand new story in what fairly presumably may turn out to be a next-generation “Jaws” anthology, Roberts populates convincingly elaborate underwater units with a suitably interesting forged for a claustrophobic journey that manages to ship some actual terror earlier than it considerably inevitably ranges up into absurdity.

Sophie Nélisse (“The Book Thief”) performs Mia, a high-school outcast whose harassment by bullies exams her relationship with stepsister Sasha (Corinne Foxx, daughter of Jamie) after their mother and father transfer to Mexico for his or her dad Grant’s (John Corbett) job as an explorer of underwater cave techniques. Sneaking off with Sasha’s buddies Alexa (Brianne Tju, MTV’s “Scream”) and Nicole (Sistine Rose Stallone, daughter of Sylvester) to occasion in a distant lagoon that Grant’s teenage assistants instructed them about, the foursome discovers not solely that their remoted getaway is the doorway to an historic underwater tomb, however conveniently there are additionally sufficient masks and diving tools for them to take a swim within the nearest chamber.

Venturing into the ruins, the women rapidly encounter some exceptional, mysterious creatures — together with an albino shark that doesn’t want sight so as to hunt them within the water. But after an assault disrupts the fragile, ageing rock formations, trapping them inside with the large predator, the women are pressured to swim deeper into the maze-like community of tunnels within the hopes of discovering an escape route earlier than both the shark or a scarcity of oxygen turns this wonderful discovery into their remaining resting place.

In the opening scenes of the movie, it isn’t actually clear why the entire teenagers in a Mexico-set locale go to a conspicuously English-language college, or why Mia, simply as fresh-faced if solely barely extra introverted than the remainder of her classmates, is a chosen goal for bullying. But in a film the place sharks can repeatedly knock down thousand-pound rock formations by thrashing round, one supposes these are minor quibbles, particularly when director Roberts, who co-wrote with Ernest Riera (“The Other Side of the Door”), creates what develops right into a genuinely suspenseful and astonishingly well-executed collection of underwater set items.

There’s one thing barely amusing about the truth that a film like this, the place audiences scarcely pause to contemplate the idea or the way it’s executed, arrives simply days after the 30th anniversary of “The Abyss,” a film that required James Cameron actually to develop know-how so as to pull off its notoriously troublesome shoot. But Roberts mounts a very spectacular underwater manufacturing that largely minimizes the premise’s logistical implausibilities and as a substitute showcases what filmmakers can do once they decide to the problem of telling a narrative like this.

That stated, Roberts errs on the facet of extra on the subject of the albino nice white terrorizing the 4 ladies and the handful of different explorers they encounter whereas within the caves; however a few efficient leap scares, the shark too typically appears both like a circling, Universal Studios-style automaton or a creation of pure CGI. But once more, the ticking clock of the younger girls’s respective oxygen tanks, and the short-term options they discover whereas looking for an exit, ratchets up greater than sufficient suspense with out throwing a bloodthirsty man-eater into the combo.

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