‘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
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Teaser
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is Out March 31 on Blu-ray

When The Force Awakened north of mediocrity and The Last Jedi...

Jonathan Jakubowicz Talks About Marcel Marceau and his ‘Resistance’

When people think of the world famous French mime, Marcel Marceau,...

1917 is Out Today

During World War I, also known as, “The War to End...

Event News Event Reviews
‘A Black and White Cookie’ A Play About Racial Harmony Hits NYC

Press Release – (New York, NY) – Ego Actus Theatre Company...

Katee Sackhoff Receives Vanguard Award at SOVAS – Interview

Katee Sackhoff has become a television and voice over icon in...

Adam Rocha Celebrates the Silver Anniversary of the San Antonio Film Festival

The San Antonio Film Festival (SAFilm) is celebrating 25 years of ...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Marvel United Funded
Marvel United Funded – Only Hours Left to Back Marvel United

Marvel United funded in the first 31 minutes! Now you only...

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Available Now for PC

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Available Now for PC with The Master...

Marvel United
Marvel United – The First-Ever Marvel Game on Kickstarter

Marvel United, the first-ever Marvel game on Kickstarter brought to us...

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
9/10
Shazam! 10: The Gingerbread War! Review

Title: Shazam! 10 Writer: Geoff Johns Pencils: Dale Eaglesham and Scott...

David Dastmalchian Teams Up with Dark Horse for ‘Count Crowley’ – Interview

Actor David Dastmalchian is the embodiment of turning one’s life around....

Neon Future Interview with Founder & Writer

A few months ago at WonderCon 2019, I had the honor...

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
McCafé Frappé
McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is a Great Way to Start the Day

McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is the best way to start...

Consumable Gift List 2019
FBN Consumable Gift List 2019

Our Consumable Holiday Gift List 2019 – The best gift to...

LS50X Snoop Dogg Limited-Edition Headset
LucidSound Announces LS50X Snoop Dogg Limited-Edition Headset Pre-Order

LucidSound announces LS50X Snoop Dogg Limited-Edition headset pre-order opening November 19...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
LA Wildcats Fall to the Dallas Renegades in the Home Opener

Sunday, February 16, 2020 – In the second game of the...

Houston Roughnecks to Host XFL Championship Game

From the XFL – HOUSTON, February 13, 2020 – The XFL,...

Jeff Martin Opens Dream MMA School and is Set to Fight at Lights Out XF on March 13

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) veteran, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and now...

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 the Wizarding Rumble pt:6 – stakes!

Comics on the Can: The Highwaymen Issue #4

COMICS ON THE CAN   The Highwaymen Issue #4   Writers:...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Wizarding Rumble Pt:5

Harry learns whether or not they can respawn on the island!...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 34: Chris Prynoski

Whitney Grace is digging through her queue of old new stock...

Episode 33: Jerry Beck

Join Whitney Grace in this blast down memory lane with an...

Episode 32: Mathew Klickstein

I’m back and done explaining about the current state of my...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Comedy Duo Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed Take Us, ‘Back To The 80s’

Two of the funniest men in show business, Ben Giroux (Hart...

James Maslow ‘Rush’es the Stage to Perform at Super Girl Surf Pro on Sunday

James Maslow is an American singer, actor and songwriter best known as the star of...

Jason Lazarus Talks about Composing the Music for ‘Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans’

Jason Lazarus is a Los Angeles based composer for film, television, and...