★★★ Cage Dive is a solid found footage survival thriller with intense shark sequences.
Released in some parts of the world as Open Water 3, Cage Dive emerges as a surprisingly effective found footage shark thriller. Gerald Rascionato’s film has a simple set up, a group of thrill-seeking friends venture off to Australia to go cage diving with Great White Sharks. However, when a huge wave renders them stranded at sea, the group of friends must fight for survival against nature’s greatest killing machine.
I’ll say this upfront, as a genre, found footage holds little interest for me as it’s a largely played out sub-genre in dire need of reinvention. That said, I love shark movies, and I’ve not seen a found footage shark film before.
We have to wait a while before we see any shark action, but when we do, the underwater sequences are well put together with only a handful of instances of ropey CGI during some of the death scenes. Unlike many extreme survival or found footage films, Rascionato’s script actually finds time to flesh out its main characters without it feeling forced. Refreshing as that might be, I could have done with less talking and a bit more “Holy crap is that a shark!”
One of the biggest flaws of the found footage genre used to be the believability that people in peril would continue filming when the brown stuff hit the windmill. That’s no longer the case, wearable tech, camera phones, and the age of living your life on social media has made it only too plausible to keep on filming. The advances in wearable technology have given found footage a new lease on life, so I’m surprised more filmmakers aren’t taking advantage and churning out all kinds of horror oddities. Maybe that’s a good thing.
While not as entertaining as the recent 47 Metres Down and The Shallows, Cage Dive offers a brief and intense ride once it gets going. As an added extra, the movie is barely seventy minutes long, so there really isn’t time to be bored.
Cage Dive is out now on DVD and Digital.