The Shallows (2016)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Anthony Jawinski
Starring: Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo
So, given that the first three films I have reviewed were all blockbusters, I have decided to step back and look at something a bit smaller – The Shallows.
Filmed on a budget of about $17 million, the resources at its disposal were dwarfed by the likes of Fast and Furious 8 (2017) and Alien: Covenant (2017) (who had budgets of $250 million and $111 million, respectively). And yet, it lured in the punters and grossed almost $120 million worldwide – demonstrating that big budgets are not always required to thrill, scare and entertain audiences.
In short, The Shallows is set on a quiet, relatively isolated beach in Mexico and follows medical student, Nancy Adams (played by Blake Lively), as she is coming to terms with the recent passing of her mother. It’s a simply idyllic location, and one that her mother had surfed at when pregnant with her years before. Unfortunately however, this remote paradise soon turns into a living hell when Nancy surfs into the territory of a (hungry) great white shark. Bumped off her board and bitten, she is forced to fight for her survival – able to see the safety of the beach a short distance away, but with no means of reaching it.
Now, rather than analyse the nitty gritty of The Shallows, I am going to leave it up to you to discover what makes this film a true gem. To do anything but this would be to spoil the fun that you will undoubtedly have if you choose to spend just short of 90 minutes of your day seeing if Nancy makes it out alive.
However, what I will say is that The Shallows really announced to me just how good an actress Blake Lively really is. The only other significant character in this film is the shark itself, and so there is absolutely no where Lively can hide. And she doesn’t need to. She rises to the occasion – showcasing her skills and portraying Nancy as a vulnerable young woman, terrified in her predicament, but determined to fight for survival.
In one line: Worth taking a bite out of your weekend to see this ‘edge of your seat’ horror picture.