The Shallows (2016)

The Shallows (2016)

2016 PG-13 87 Minutes

Horror | Drama | Thriller

An injured surfer stranded on a buoy needs to get back to shore, but the great white shark stalking her might have other ideas.

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • The comeback for shark films and Blake Lively, The Shallows follows Nancy who travels to an unknown beach to surf...however she is shortly confronted by cinema's most dangerous sea creature, a Great White Shark. Throughout the years we've had masterpieces such as Jaws, and then we've had some so-so films like Deep Blue Sea...and then we come to the utter tripe like Sharknado. The Shallows was a chance to get moviegoers back into their seats and scared deathless by the sea creature, and for the most part it succeeds. Blake Lively has the job of essentially being the only written character in the film and she carries it extremely well. Her performance was very subtle and understated and I thought she did very well. Visually this film was outstanding, it actually took me by surprise. The colour palette used to enhance the tropical environment was aesthetically sublime (definitely a blu-ray purchase for me!). With the assistance of the excellent direction and camera work from director Jaume Collet-Serra (famous for Liam Neeson films: Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night) this was definitely a treat for the eyes. The transition from the wobbly camera underwater shark's point of view and the tracking landscape shots of the beach was refreshing. There are a few gory scenes that some might find excessive but the gore adds to the fear of the shark and it did the trick. The sound editing was also adequate, whenever Nancy got into the waters the sound turned up a notch and the tension kicked in. Whilst the film was a good comeback, I did find that there were a few flaws. The shark itself was rather bad CGI and it did take me out of the film on multiple occasions. The first 20 minutes seemed like a sport advertisement for surfing and I personally thought it went on for too long, and with an 86 minute runtime it cannot afford to waste any time. A major problem with many one character films is that they are severely under written, and this is no different. Her backstory was forced and because of this it was difficult to become attached and invested in her. Overall, The Shallows was a successful comeback for the shark genre with great direction and an excellent performance from Blake Lively, even with an under developed script.