The Shallows (2016)

I don’t know if it was entirely necessary to have made the shark GINORMOUS! Sharks are fucking terrifying regardless of the size!

Among the seclusion and pristine beauty of a secret beach something dark lurks dangerously close by… Nancy’s perfect holiday is brought to an abrupt halt when she is attacked by a great white shark. Finding herself stranded on a small patch of rocks just 200 yards from the shore, with no one in sight but a friendly seagull and a great white circling and the tide quickly rising.

Jaume Collet-Serra delivers a simple yet cleverly constructed B movie. For a story that consists of Blake Lively in a bikini, a rock and a seagull, The Shallows is surprisingly full of substance. Running at a slick 87 minutes this one-woman show is an inventive dive into the shark attack genre, and effectively lands itself amongst the top tier of shark films.

The gorgeous Blake Lively holds the single character film together as the compelling heroine, Nancy. Leaning towards more survival film than shark film, The Shallows almost feels like a beautifully captured music video filled with breathtaking scenic coastlines and lavish surfing montage moments, that is until it takes a bloody turn…

Its unfortunate that the special effects aren’t as sharp as Lively’s performance. The shark is a questionable grey elastic looking digital monstrosity, but it is rarely seen in full. Collet-Serra does well to ratchet up the tension by transcending the tired shark attack tropes and teases the audience with giving us space between sightings, making it all the more terrifying when the shark does attack.

The subplot is a little melodramatic and I think it could have been a stronger film without the backstory being conveyed through expository dialogue, but let’s be real this film is undeniably trashy, especially towards the end, but it is a cunning movie and its over the top charm will win you over in the end.

7.5 / 10

“It’s okay… No sharks come here”

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