Directed by | Jaume Collet-Serra
Produced by | Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem
Written by | Anthony Jaswinski
Starring | Blake Lively
Run Time | 86 minutes
Certificate | 15
Plot | Medical student Nancy (Lively) has taken time out from her studies following a personal, traumatic event. During this break, she heads to a secluded ‘secret’ beach in Mexico that her mother once visited when she was carrying her. What begins as a pilgrimage becomes a fight for survival when she is attacked by a shark while out surfing.
Review | The Shallows is surprisingly entertaining, if a little light. Marketed as a horror, it is more a survival thriller – think more along the lines of 127 Hours instead of Jaws or Deep Blue Sea.
Blake Lively puts in a strong, believable performance as the lead. While there is a supporting cast, their appearances on screen are so fleeting that they aren’t overly worth mentioning. It also means that it is down to Lively to pretty much carry the film by herself, which she does quite well.
Less well done is some of the CGI used for our antagonistic beast. While the slower shots of the monster stalking its prey are fine, some of the action shots look like they’ve been taken from a Sharknado film. Maybe that is a little harsh – it looks a bit better than that.
The Shallows does have an otherwise beautiful presentation. Some of the cinematography supercedes expectations, helped by a breathtaking setting and an inventive use of some GoPro cameras. Also, a small mention should be made of the pleasantly original way in which we are shown the replies to our protagonists texts, or receives her phone calls, in the early stages of the film.
While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, The Shallows manages to move along at a steady clip and be entertaining – and what more could you want from a sub-90 minute survival thriller?
The Verdict | An entertaining, visually pleasant survival thriller.