Cue the Jaws theme music and gets your butts out of the water! Because once again we have been given a terrifying shark movie; about 4 decades after the quintessential shark film was release and scared people out of swimming in any sort of body of water! Sure there have been other movies about killer sharks, some have entertained us, and some are just painfully ridiculous (that's right I'm looking at you Sharknado series). But so few of those, if any, that have come out since Jaws, has simultaneously entertained And frightened the swimming apparel right off of us! That is until The Shallows has been released this year! It has been visually brought to the screen by Jaume Collet-Serra, whose work you may recognize, if not by the name, by such films as the House of Wax remake, Orphan, and the two Liam Neeson action films Unknown and Non-Stop! And the star we root for is Blake Lively (Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants, Pretty Little Liars). Now Blake is an actress, whom because of her past work, you just either like her or you don't. Now there are a lot of people who didn't care for the live action adaptation of the comic book Green Lantern, and therefore don't like Blake because she was associated with the movie that seriously flopped with its core fan base. I for one think she really proved herself and her acting chops in this here film! One that had a mix of different things going for it - Humor, Suspense, Horror, Drama. And I just think she did well juggling it all. Especially with the more dramatic moments and scenes!
We follow Nancy, a medical student, to a secluded beach and body of water somewhere in Mexico that very few people know about. She makes her trek, via a local guide, to the very place her mother, who had recently passed away due to a terminal illness, had once visited. And Nancy is there to surf as a way to make peace with the death of her mother and to honor her. While surfing and taking in the scenic beauty, she encounters two other surfers who seem harmless. But soon there after she encounters something much more dangerous - An enormous killer shark whose main goal and sole purpose is to have Nancy satisfy its hunger. After it brutally attacks her, it traps her in middle of the body of water, and now, using her medical knowledge and skills, Nancy must not only find a way back to the beach, but to fight to stay alive and survive. It's really a survival story of people vs. nature, jam packed with tons of moments that will wreak hell upon your nerves. Director Jaume Collet-Serra has always managed to incorporate his eye for beauty in a story filled with terror and violence. And aside from capturing the natural beauty that the always gorgeous Blake Lively possesses, he also captures the scenic beauty of the location they filmed in. Even if a small portion of the film actually includes the actual location. Jaume, along with cinematographer Flavio Labiano (who has now worked with Jaume 3 times, the past two films having been Unknown and Non-Stop), have really provided us with such a visually striking movie to watch! And I cannot even go on without mentioning the film's writer, Anthony Jaswinski, who crafted such a story to behold! With the past films he had written, like Vanishing on 7th Street and Kristy, he totally has a knack for drawing out suspense. He doesn't really need to throw a bunch of jump out scares at you to have you biting your nails, the suspense he creates for his protagonists will have you doing that all on its own! I personally loved the thriller/horror, Kristy, which you can find on Netflix. Now, let's talk about the co-star of the movie, the one whom without it, there really would be no story to tell. The Shark! I have to admit that even though the shark was clearly CGI, there were moments where the shark looked so good that it honestly looked real! And what's more, they gave it a personality, which was exciting to watch played out on screen as the story progressed! I give this picture a high recommendation to anyone looking for a great movie to check out at your local theater!
The Shallows Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"