Director: Gerald Rascionto
Script: Gerald Rascionto and Stephen Lister
Cast: Joel Hogan, Megan Peta Hill, Josh Potthoff, Pete Valley, Mark Fell, Tara Wraith, Teagan Berger
Running time: 77 minutes
Cage Dive sees three friends, from California, head around the world to the rugged coast of Australia to demonstrate their fearlessness to a third party they’re trying to ‘audition for’, regarding some sort of extreme challenge. The dangerous activity they’ve set themselves, in order to prove their metal? – Cage dive with great white sharks off the coast of Adelaide, Australia.
Jeff and Josh Miller (Hogan and Potthoff, respectively) are brothers who are both in love with the third member of their party, Megan (Hill), who is currently dating Jeff. However, unknown to Jeff, Megan and Josh are quietly seeing each other behind his back and plan to tell him when they get back from the trip. This is a bit of a bummer for Jeff who’s planning to propose to Megan at the first ideal opportunity. This love triangle plays a significant role in events later in the film, hence me mentioning it now.
Suffice to say, things don’t go according to plan and their tour boat is sunk by a freak storm wave, resulting in the three of them later finding themselves treading water, in a hostile sea, surrounded by hungry sharks who just love a bit of Californian tourist’s rump to nibble on!
Cage Dive is shot as a found-footage type of film, a variety of movie I’m not a big fan of, as more regular readers of my blogs may have noticed. However, when the format is done well it can make for a very effective and immediate style of filmmaking and Cage Dive is one of the better found-footage films that I’ve sat through. It’s certainly more engaging than most, and I think we can all relate to the terrifying idea of being lost at sea surrounded by dangerous creatures, lurking in the depths, waiting for us to panic or get the inevitable cramps!
On the positive side I quite liked the main characters, who weren’t too annoying, and it was nice to watch a found footage movie that wasn’t set in an old asylum or haunted house. In fact, there are some good outdoors locations to be seen throughout this film. Plus, director Rascionto manages to rack up the tension quite nicely during the stranded-at-sea section.
However, this being a found footage type of film, there’s an irritatingly high level of shaky-cam cinematography, which gets progressively more frustrating to watch as you’re trying to work out what’s going on and to whom. There are also some rather terrible plot contrivances along the way; for example, they just ‘happen to find’ an inflatable life-raft and then one of the characters just happens to accidentally torch it not long after resulting in them all being back in the water to be tormented by the sharks some more! The girl even does a tearful Blair Witch styled piece-to-camera at one point just to remind us as to what sort of film we’re watching…
Overall Cage Dive is a reasonable found-footage film, with enough story and action to keep both casual viewers and shark movie fans watching.
Cage Dive is being distributed by Lionsgate on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital download. There’s a few extras included on the disc including
Trailers for recent releases including: The Limehouse Golem, and Valerian and the city of a thousand planets
Deleted Scenes (12 mins) – six deleted scenes which include: Megan and the others doing pieces to camera revealing the reasons for wanting to be on the team; tasting Vegemite; Jeff singing about his brother; a trip to a seal sanctuary; and them picking up their van and starting to travel along the Australian roads. Oh, and there’s a scene involving a shoe tree too!
Behind the scenes (4.5 mins) – short promotional piece, which is mainly quick-fire talking heads stuff, where we discover they shot the film on location in Australia, that most of them got sea-sick at some point, and the night shoot was scary to do, for real. A bit disappointing overall, as I’m sure there’s loads of interesting stuff that happened during the shoot.