Just when I thought the ocean was going to be safe by now, it now makes me afraid of surfing while sharks are near. To be honest, expectations for The Shallows were pretty low because the trailers weren’t that good and looked like a storyline that has been done before just like Jaws. To a surprise, it actually worked for what it was going for.
As a story depicting a med student being terrorized by a shark trying to get to dry land doesn’t get you scared, nonetheless in an 89-minute runtime, nothing will. Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Non-Stop, Run All Night) and writer Anthony Jaswinski does a perfect job at really perfecting the fear of surviving one of the most dangerous and scariest situations of trying to survive a shark attack. Especially by a huge great white shark. There were some good scares in this like even the violence, when it’s shown, pushed the boundaries for a PG-13.
Blake Lively does a really good job in this role. Her character was actually pretty smart and she knows exactly what needs to happen after she’s been attacked as in she gives medical training to herself. The cinematography had a very good look to it when it’s underneath the ocean or around the beach. Not a perfect movie to a surprise because it does take itself a bit too seriously and it knew what it was going for, but at least have a bit fun later on.
When the shark is shown, especially near the end, the CGI wasn’t the best. But the shark was scary, though. There was some downtime between scenes and there wasn’t enough happening. And around the beginning, there were unnecessary slow-motion shots that were pointless. But this is the best shark movie we’ve seen in a long time that isn’t silly or meant to be funny. This was meant to be suspenseful while also being entertaining.
The Shallows is a competently solid survival thriller set in the ocean that has Lively vs. a killer shark that was actually scary at times.