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The Shallows Review

The Shallows, I will admit, when I saw the trailer I immediately thought Jaws. I mean how could you not? The biggest shark movie may have competition? Well, no, it was a good movie it just didn’t have that wow factor.


Blake Lively stars as Nancy, a medical student surfer who travels to her mum’s favourite beach to surf. Nancy finds herself in trouble when she is bit by a shark after finding a dead whale it was feeding on. Nancy then spends the next hour trying to escape the shark and the water while seeing friends and strangers trying to help her die.

What was different in this movie to others was the use of technology. At the start we learn about Nancy’s mother through Nancy’s phone camera roll and we learn about her family through her FaceTime call with them. One of the boys she befriends has a go pro on his helmet so she uses that to get help. I thought this was a nice little add on, even though it didn’t look very good and a bit trashy it added a different element that other films just don’t have. The story was very believable as well and all the little expositional lines of dialogue had a purpose to the overall story.

My issue was I found it a bit boring. For most of the movie Nancy is just lying, bleeding, on a rock trying to evade the shark. There are a few but not many jump scares but I will admit the director knows how to do suspense. Yes there isn’t the classic and memorable soundtrack but the silence of it all and the way the waves crash around Nancy add such a tense feel to the whole movie. I also liked how they didn’t blame the shark for attacking the girl. Nancy says to the go pro that she stumbled onto his feeding ground so was out of line there and really should have been smarter, but, not knowing the area and being told there were no sharks what are you going to think?


Even though it was a beautifully filmed movie with good dialogue and a good storyline it just didn’t wow me. I’m glad I saw it, it holds up as a shark movie, but it just didn’t linger in my mind once it finished. The CGI was awful as well, the dolphins looked very bad, the shark was passable at times and the whale, well, I don’t even know if the whale was alive or not. This movie uses a lot of gore for its scares, and yes of course you’re going to bleed like crazy when you get bit, but using a seagull as a metaphor for the girl and having her relocate its shoulder was something I did not need to see.

Would I recommend this movie? Yes. You should at least give it a chance but, would I reach for it again? Only if I had nothing else to choose from.

What do you think of The Shallows?

Until next time.


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