‘The Shallows’ Ensures You’ll Never Go Swimming Again

GameStop, Inc.

the-shallows-002

Years after Jaws and its sequels, we’ve finally reached the point where it was safe to go into the water. Now Jaume Collet-Serra has arrived to make sure that we’re once again terrified to dip even a toe into the ocean with The Shallows, an intense new thriller starring Blake Lively as a surfer struggling to survive on a lone rock just 200 yards from the shore. Collet-Serra has crafted a masterful thriller that blends the Murphy’s Law aspects of Gravity with the aquatic terror of Jaws. As much as The Shallows is a work of unrelenting tension there’s also a good amount of fun to be had in this story of struggle and survival.

The script by Anthony Jaswinski keeps the premise incredibly simple. Nancy (Lively) has recently lost her mother to cancer. As part of her mourning process, Nancy has taken a break from medical school and traveled down to Mexico, seeking a secluded beach that her mother used to surf at. Out in the bright blue water, Nancy meets a couple of locals who inform her of the tide along the beach – in low tide a rock will form a miniature island. As the locals swim to shore Nancy goes out to catch one last wave. She spots the floating carcass of massive whale and not long after a shark grabs her by the leg, leaving a deep bite mark in her thigh. Using her medical knowledge, Nancy crudely patches up her wounds but is left stranded on a rock slowly bleeding with no company but a wounded seagull. Now it’s all about surviving and finding a way to shore before the high tide comes in and obscures the sanctuary of the lone rock into the sea.

As good as Blake Lively is as the stranded surfer, the real star of The Shallows is Jaume Collet-Serra. The Spanish director is firing on cylinders using slow motion to build tension, misdirection to keep the audience on the edge of its seat, and still maintaining a sense of fun to harrowing ordeal on display. Opening with some GoPro footage of a shark attack, The Shallows opens like one of the more ominous episodes of Breaking Bad – you know something bad is going to happen it’s just a matter of how it happens. Knowing that the audience is curious as to how these events unfold, Collet-Serra frequently employs misdirection before unleashing the more horrific elements to incredibly effective results. It’s a constant cycle of building tension and releasing it ever so slightly before compounding the tension to an even greater degree.

The whole of The Shallows is about survival, but every scene is its own little struggle as part of a greater whole. Each struggle is frequently compounded with complications, because everything that can go wrong will go wrong – often in more ways than you can imagine. It’s all a matter of taking a smart, capable character and making them vulnerable physically and emotionally (like Die Hard, for example). In any given scene the shark circling around Nancy might only be the third most harrowing aspect of the situation, resulting in a story that is just non-stop in its suspense.

Over the course of 90 minutes, The Shallows takes you through a gamut of emotional responses to the images displayed on screen. There’s nail-biting suspense complimented moments of despair, laughter, and joy. Blake Lively gives one of the strongest performances of her career as she’s forced to carry the emotional weight of The Shallows with only the support of a seagull, affectionately called Steven Seagull in the movie. (Seriously, you’ll love that bird.) The Shallows is by no means just a rehash of Jaws, it’s a movie that stands firmly on its own in choppy waters. If there’s a weak spot to the film it’s simply a few moments of some shoddy CGI, but Collet-Serra employs such wonderful craft in creating the tension that a few poorly rendered effects aren’t enough to take you out of the moment. When it’s all said and done, it doesn’t matter how blue that water looks, I’m never going back into the ocean.

The Shallows
  • Overall Score
4

Summary

A masterfully suspenseful story of survival, The Shallows is intense and fun as it confirms that Jaume Collet-Serra is among the premiere directors working today.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Sheep and Wolves: Pig Deal is Screening at Catalina Film Festival

Originally a Russian language animated feature and a sequel to the...

Showrunners Moshe Zonder & Dana Eden Discuss Tehran on Apple TV+

Showrunners Moshe Zonder (Fauda, Loners) & Dana Eden  (Yom Haem, Magpie)...

‘Sweet Pain’ Picks Up Distribution – Trailer

Sweetwater Pictures, Aved Productions and Bruise Productions are pleased to announce...

Event News Event Reviews
Martin Kove to be Honored at Catalina Island Film Festival

Great Scott! It’s Barry Bostwick shows Martin Kove no mercy in...

New Mutants Drive In
The New Mutants Drive In @ The Rose Bowl

The New Mutants Drive In at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California...

Ruth Connell of Supernatural Talks to us About Her Virutual Q&A This Weekend

Scottish born actress, Ruth Connell who played Rowena MacLeod on the...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
8.5/10
Marvel United Review – Marvel Minis Pack Major Fun

Marvel United Review – The partnership of Marvel, CMON Games, and...

Skapp
Skapp Turns Your Phone into a Skateboard

Skapp is a skateboard app that turns your phone into a...

TMNT: Mutant Madness
TMNT: Mutant Madness is Available Now!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT): Mutant Madness is available now on iOS...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Leadership Lessons From the Cockpit
Commander Guy Snodgrass Discusses His New Book ‘Topgun’s Top 10: Leadership Lessons From the Cockpit’

Flying ace and Topgun pilot, instructor and all around man’s man,...

IDW Names New Publisher & Announces Executive Promotions

From IDW Publishing – San Diego / Los Angeles, CA (September...

John Ridley’s Batman Miniseries

DC confirms John Ridley’s Batman Miniseries coming January 2021 featuring art...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Wireless Charging Grip
Powercast Wireless Charging Grip for Joy-Cons

Powercast releases over-the-air Wireless Charging Grip for Nintendo Joy-Con Controllers on Amazon...

NCOSE
NCOSE Interview – How to Stop Child Grooming?

How to stop grooming in toys? NCOSE Interview with Jake Roberson,...

Legends Ultimate Arcade
Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine is Back!

The Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine is back with wider availability and...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Baseball Bugs Bunny
Baseball Bugs Bunny Giveaway!

Good afternoon Nation! In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Bugs...

Baseball Bugs Bunny
S. Preston Discusses His Minimalist Baseball Bugs MLB Artwork

S. Preston, a nationally known illustrator, is melding sports and classic...

Ric Flair Talks Some Career Highlights, Charlotte’s Recovery and Celebrity Slots

Wooo, you have no idea how eager I was to conduct...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and Endgame (kinda)

Something strange may be going on at the Wizarding school.

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and New Horizons – Endgame??

The portal was left unguarded for an hour and a half!...

Adult Continuity Presents Issue #22 This ain’t Fallout XXX

Now this could be a commentary about the travel time experienced...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Noelle Scaggs of Fitz and the Tantrums Talks ‘Concerts in Your Car’

Performing on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds,...

Persian Singer and International Sensation Shab is ready to take on the American Music Scene

This interview was very personal to me as Shab has a...

New Single ‘Aqua’ from ‘The SpongeBob Move: Sponge On the Run Debuts Today!

From Paramount Animation – LOS ANGELES, CA (July 9th, 2020) –...