The Shallows Review

The Plot

A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy (Blake Lively) is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.

The Good

Blake Lively stars in this fantastic romp of a movie which is thrillingly good fun pretty much throughout. At 86 minutes, the survival thriller is perfectly paced and serves as some great popcorn fodder as Nancy struggles to get back to the beach after a vicious shark attack.

Director Juame Collet-Serra amps up the tension as Nancy’s leg grows an ever darker shade of purple with only a wounded seagull for company in a long and terrifying night. At it’s heart it really is all about Nancy with a solo survival theme much like 127 Hours or Buried. However Anthony Jaswinski’s script still delivers  some edge of your seat scenes through Nancy’s numerous attempts at outwitting her predator as the ominous fin circles her, waiting to attack again.

For much of the film it feels like a straight faced thriller, and this is where The Shallows works best, in its middle section.

The Bad

There are times, however when it dips into a sillier, B-Movie style which, if you’re going in expecting something more realistic, which the film starts off suggesting with it’s found footage style opening, you may feel the final act slightly jarring. Even more jarring is its final scene which, without spoiling completely feels a little too unrealistic given where the film takes you.

The Ugly Truth

It’s not Jaws, but The Shallows can be a hoot, if you’re in the right mood for it. While it struggles to figure itself out fully, dipping into found-footage, thriller and B-Movie genres without managing to meld the three together, it’s thankfully never an issue for long enough to truly irritate with its 86 minute runtime.

Review by Johnny Ellis


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