Cage Dive (2017) reminds us that sometimes when footage is found, it’s absolutely fine to just leave it where it is. #SharkWeak4🦈 Review

Cage Dive Review

Found footage horror is quite the rarity in the bad shark movie genre but then again, CAGE DIVE (sometimes badged as OPEN WATER 3: CAGE DIVE although it has no direct relationship OPEN WATER) is a film of contradictions. While it does, at least, feature sharks – unlike its shark-free predecessor – it doesn’t actually devote a great deal of time to a cage dive either.

Opening with the eye-roll-inducing cheesiness of a warning that “In 2015 an underwater camera was found at the bottom of the ocean. We would like to warn viewers that the footage on the camera contains graphic material”, the film proceeds to layer on the authenticity by interspersing the ‘recovered’ footage with news reports and talking head testimony, none of which make up for the fact that before we even get to dip our toes in the water we’re subjected to half an hour of obnoxious holiday home movie/ reality show audition tape/ unnecessary love triangle. It does, at least, give CAGE DIVE a unique feature in that – long before they appear – you’re already rooting for the sharks to eat ‘em all.

It’s a shame for a film franchise that previously prided itself on its (admittedly speculative) realism that this rebadged third chapter leans so heavily into the fictional shark movie trope. There’s certainly no commitment to realism in the camerawork, which markedly improves once our protagonists are in the water although the sound mixing clings to some verisimilitude as it’s often badly muffled and frequently inaudible. Not, unfortunately, as frequently as you might wish, though, after you’ve had an earful of the incessant whiny bickering which passes for dialogue between the three main characters.

Cage Dive Review

The briefest glimpse of the tidal wave which precipitates their situation is arguably more terrifying than any of the shark-related schlock that follows and it at least has the benefit of being unexpected. Despite being ostensibly ‘found footage’, most of the bite-related kills are often telegraphed in advance as if the camcorder operator was blessed with an uncanny precognizance.

Burdened with all the usual found footage tropes including the scourge of the genre, night vision scenes, CAGE DIVE never manages to escape the tar pit of its fundamentally unlikeable lead characters. Indeed, potentially the most horrific death has nothing to do with the sharks or the situation and everything to do with their relentless, petty quarrelling.

Although generally praised for its diving authenticity, the film has attracted a fair amount of criticism for the unrealistic actions of the sharks but I came away with a different theory: the relentlessly predatory behaviour of the sharks makes perfect sense when you realise they were just doing everything they could to get the three floating humans to shut the fuck up.

2/10

logo

Related posts

Castles In The Sky (2014) Review

Castles In The Sky (2014) Review


Castles In The Sky (2014) Review

Lacking the star-laden cast, salacious subtext and tragic coda of its theatrically released cousin, BBC TV movie “Castles In The Air” was always destined to be overshadowed by “The Imitation Game”. That’s a real shame because the BBC production is just as handsomely staged, just as...

It’s oh, sharks! in the Ozarks as a family vacation turns into a summer shark attack: Ozark Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak3 Review

It's oh, sharks! in the Ozarks as a family vacation turns into a summer shark attack: Ozark Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak3 Review


It's oh, sharks! in the Ozarks as a family vacation turns into a summer shark attack: Ozark Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak3 Review

Having consulted Google Maps and confirmed that, yes, a shark in the Ozarks in technically possible, let’s dive head first into not horror fiction, but horror fact as a family vacation to the Ozarks takes a bloodthirsty turn when killer sharks invade the picturesque waterways.“Ozark Shark”...

Forbidden Planet (1956) Review

Forbidden Planet (1956) Review


Forbidden Planet (1956) Review

Immortalised in the opening song of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” – and deservedly so – “Forbidden Planet” is a Sci-Fi milestone which propelled the genre from B-movie cult appeal to A-list mainstream success. As part of Realweegiemidget Reviews & Thoughts All Sorts ‘Now...

WandaVision Episode 7 – Breaking The Fourth Wall Review

WandaVision Episode 7 - Breaking The Fourth Wall Review


WandaVision Episode 7 - Breaking The Fourth Wall Review

While the big revelation of the episode might be something most of us have been expecting, BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL has much more than that up its sleeve. With the six episodes so far having been meditations not only on grief but also finding something to say about each era of sitcom it’s...