The Shallows – Movie Review

I’m back! Sorry for the lapse in posts, between moving and starting my new job, it’s been pretty crazy. I’m ready to get this blog back up and running so I thought I would do a movie on a movie I’ve been itching to see since I saw the trailer. Who doesn’t love a good shark movie? 

*While I always attempt to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible, I will probably touch on small details.*

The Shallows wastes very little time before jumping right into the action. We start off with some back story on Nancy (Blake Lively) which we get through iPhone images and a brief video chat with her younger sister and her father. We quickly learn that Nancy’s mother passed away from cancer, resulting in Nancy dropping out of medical school and heading off to Mexico to surf on a secluded beach that was her mother’s favorite spot. 

Nancy surfs with some guys for a short while, but eventually ends up alone in the water. This is when Nancy stumbles upon a dead whale. 

This is one part of the film I feel needs a little harsh critique. Raise your hand if you would swim up nice and close to a dead whale and just stare at it for a few before heading back to surfing. If you raised your hand, I’m concerned for you. I feel like she didn’t react like a real person would react in that situation. I, for one, would be a bit more disgusted and freaked out. 
Anyway, Nancy catches a wave and surfs…and then, what I think might be one of the coolest scenes. *Potential Spoiler Alert*

This is a screen grab because I can’t put it into words how cool I thought this was. If you don’t see it, look at the wave on the left. See it? 

Nancy is knocked off her surf board and bitten on the leg. The gash is pretty awful and, as expected in a shark movie, there is a lot of blood in the water. Nancy finds herself on a very small rock, wounded badly. 

For a PG13 movie, I have to admit, the leg wound is a little difficult to stomach if you’re queasy. I won’t spoil you on how she attempts to patch herself up, but I will forewarn you that it is very intense, and bloody. 

For 95% of the movie, Nancy is the only character aside from the shark and a seagull. There is very little dialogue. Nancy’s facial expressions and breaths of pain and fear are what drives the plot along. The Shallows truly is a story of survival. There is no love subplot to rely on – just heart pumping, edge of your seat, action.

The cinematography is truly beautiful. Every shot added to the movie and it’s clear the director knew when to show and when to let your imagination run wild in order to create a sense of fear and hopelessness. 

Blake Lively is a fantastic actress. Her ability to keep your attention the entire film while having very few lines is top notch. The supporting characters were alright. A little forgetable but in their defense, they didn’t have much screen time. 
I have read some reviews comparing this movie to Jaws and putting it on the same level as Jaws. I probably wouldn’t go that far. It would take a lot to top a classic like Jaws and I think it’s unrealistic to hold the Shallows to that. In its own right, this is one of the best shark movies I’ve seen in a while. It’s refreshing to see a true, action and horror packed shark movie instead of more Sharknado type movies. 

Overall, this movie was what I hoped it would be. Scary, action packed and entertaining. There were places it could have been better, but I definitely don’t feel like I wasted my time

RATING: 4/5 ☆

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