The Shallows

2016-08-26 11:53

What it's about:

Nancy is surfing alone on a secluded beach when she is attacked by a great white shark and stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 metres from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills.

What we thought:

I love shark movies, I absolutely LOVE them! So, when I saw a snippet of the trailer I knew I’d enjoy this film and enjoy it I did.

To be frank, I just about shat myself and I’m very likely not going into the ocean anytime soon but I can deal with that.

What I can’t deal with is the fact that there is now a new shark theme song and after watching The Shallows that was all that consumed my mind. Even walking back to my car freaked me out.

In fact, when telling my colleagues about the film I found myself taking a screengrab of the conversation because my immediate response to Juame Collet-Serra’s thriller pretty much sums up the review.

So, now that we have established that this film is every part horror, suspense and thriller, let me tell you why.

The shark was magnificent! There is always the worry that it may seem way too fake to be convinced that these wild creatures rule the ocean but I said it before and I will say it again… I am not going into the ocean anytime soon! 

Apart from its abnormal looking size everything was right with the sea creature that set out to kill its prey (Nancy played by Blake Lively). Everything from the way it moved in the water to its skin and fins, to its teeth and eyes. That shark was more real that Lively's distressed call for help.

Which brings me to Lively’s performance. It was unfortunately not as mind blowing. For some reason she just didn’t strike me as the ‘medical student looking for herself’ type of girl. After a slow start it kind of all just goes downhill from there as every scream, gasp and effort to save herself becomes less convincing. The only scene that she manages to look really bad ass in is when she finally moves from the rock to the water tower and she shows that shark who’s boss.

Casting was done brilliantly. It was kept to a minimum adding more suspense. The music was also pretty perfect and carried a lot of Lively’s flat scenes.

The cinematography of The Shallows is definitely a standout in this film. Attention to detail of every angle was thought out according to the way the shark moves and the way Nancy moves making everything tie in. The only criticism I’d have is that the film would have been even better in 3D.

While Lively might not have you convinced, the great white will certainly havr you shivering in your swim trunks. Add a dark setting, surround sound and some popcorn and you’re in for an emotional rollercoaster ride of a lifetime.

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