There's a tendency to exaggerate facts when it comes to creature features in the horror genre and the same could be said for 47 Meters Down. The shark flick starring Claire Holt and Mandy Moore premiered in 2017. A sequel, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, from director Johannes Roberts was released August 16.
47 Meters Down focused on two sisters, Kate and Lisa (Holt and Moore), while they went on a cave diving excursion while on vacation in Mexico. The man they hired, Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine), allowed them to enter the diving cage, but the group was unaware that the cable was frayed. While in the water, the cable snapped and the sisters plummeted to the ocean floor, 47 meters below the surface, out of communication from the boat. Not only did Kate and Lisa have to worry about their dwindling air supply, but they were also surrounded by great white sharks.
Horror survival scenarios are common, even when it comes to man-eating sharks. Jaws, Open Water, The Shallows, and The Meg are a few popular shark survival films. Most, if not all, cross the line between fiction and reality - which is understandable when it comes to the goal of terrifying audiences. Considering shark and cage diving dreams are finding their ways onto bucket lists, thanks to Shark Week, it's important to remember that movies like 47 Meters Down rely on fiction rather than the truth. Much of the diving in the film is in fact, inaccurate.
Based on the information provided by an experienced diver (via Discover Magazine), much of the information surrounding the SCUBA diving in 47 Meters Down was unreliable. When the cage's cable snapped, Kate and Lisa descended rapidly to the ocean floor. The result was a minor bloody nose, but the rapid descent would have severely burst both of their eardrums. The women seemed very concerned about their air supply, which was understandable, but the facts surrounding their oxygen levels were false. The depths they were at would have affected the density of their supply and the rate at which they would have consumed the air. In reality, the sisters would have run out of oxygen must faster, especially due to their excessive use through inexperience and panic.
While the Kate, Lisa, and the crew were trying to come up with a rescue plan, Captain Taylor put a lot of emphasis on the danger of nitrogen forming in the blood if they ascend too fast. The situation, known as "the bends," is dangerous, but he didn't accurately explain to them the speed at which they women should swim to the top. There was also an issue with "nitrogen narcosis" which can happen deeper than 30 meters. The situation could cause impairment but, in the movie's case, it resulted in wild hallucinations. By the end of 47 Meters Down, it was revealed that Lisa hallucinated the girls' rescue attempt and that she was still stuck at the bottom of the ocean. They accredited her false reality to nitrogen narcosis, which is totally inaccurate.
Of course, there were notable inaccuracies with the sharks. Captain Taylor warned the girls that he witness great whites that were at least 28 feet, which is about five feet larger than any shark ever discovered. Even the shark from 47 was only said to be around 25 feet long. The behavior of the sharks was also pointed out to be incorrect, considering the species doesn't usually have interest in humans. They may attack, but it's usually a case of mistaken identity, and they certainly wouldn't stalk humans for long periods of times as seen in 47 Meters Down and other shark movies. But what fun would that be?
- 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) release date: Aug 16, 2019