Everyone loves a good shark story. However, shark movies in recent years haven’t been all too great. The made for T.V. movie, Sharknado, has gained quite the cult following, along with sequels, but it’s more cheesy fun than it is actually good. Besides those, nothing that has came out has been worth remembering. That is why The Shallows had everyone talking, hoping we’d get to see a great shark film. Was it another hit-and-miss? Or did it deliver what the audiences wanted?
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, The Shallows, delivers on all aspects of what truly makes an intense, nail-biting, cringe worthy, and jump-scare horror movie. It was released to theaters on June 24th and has made over $16 million at the box office already. With a great performance by Blake Lively, intense climactic moments and an overall amazing shark story, it is not surprising that this film is gaining positive feedback from audiences everywhere.
It follows Nancy, (Lively), as she goes on an adventure to a secret beach that her late mother told her stories about. She is questioning and struggling with her path in life as a medical student after her mother lost her battle with cancer. Little does she know that she will soon be fighting for her own life against a shark. What starts as some cool wave surfing with two other people, who have also found this secret place, quickly turns into a terrifying struggle for survival. The two others leave; Nancy stays for one last wave. Thus begins the most intense hour I’ve spent in a theater in a long time.
Lively gives the performance of her life. The fear and emotions that she conveys as she battles the shark is truly mind blowing. Not only does she have to go to war with the shark, but she also has to brawl with the ocean. It starts with her getting knocked off her board and thrust into the water where she gets bit. She swims as fast as she can to get away from the shark and to the nearest safe place. Now, Nancy must not only avoid the shark, but tend to her wounded leg. It will make you hold your breath the entire time.
There are some pretty crazy scenes beyond her shark attack, four in particular that come into mind. First, let’s just say I would have never thought earrings and a necklace could be so handy. Second, there’s a moment in which she she has a little hope that things will get better and when things go the other way around, it was the first time you’re happy that the shark was lurking close by. Third, The Shallows does not disappoint on scenes with bloody fun. Basicallly, Lively isn’t the only one that the shark wants to take a bite out of and there’s a decent body count throughout the film. The fourth will have you on the edge of your seat over a bird. Yes, a bird.
Just because this movie is PG -13, don’t think it can’t be scary. I had my doubts but The Shallows paid off for me in a big way! The horror genre has been pretty disappointing this year, but this is the best one of 2016. I’m sure some will disagree, but it is absolutely worth seeing! If you do go see it, do yourself a favor and don’t compare it to Jaws. Let it become its own classic and stand on its own. It has the potential to do so. Get ready to sink your teeth into this film and try not to bite off all your nails while you watch it!