When we heard about The Shallows film, because of it featuring a shark, it quickly became one of our must-see films of the year.
Shark films are a guilty pleasure for us here at Barking Mad About Films, a fact that we’ve blogged about before https://barkingmadaboutfilms.com/shark/
Jaws, is our all time favourite film. The film also gave us a fascination for these beautiful creatures. So whilst we love shark films, we do feel a bit sad that it could encourage the slaughter of these fishes, when they are already near to being an endangered species.
But we rushed out to see The Shallows, in part because Sharks hadn’t graced the big screen since 5 years ago, when we saw Shark Night 3D at the cinema, a fun B movie that didn’t really know what it wanted to be, it was basically Hostel but with Sharks and a PG13 rating!
So does The Shallows fair any better, in short, yes! The film from director Jaume Collet-Sera (who has given us Liam Neeson hits Unknown; Run All Night and Non-Stop, but has also done well in the horror genre with Orphan and House of Wax)
The film follows Nancy (Blake Lively, Star of TV’s Gossip Girl, however we know her from movies such as The Town and Green Lantern, where she met her husband Ryan Reynolds)
Nancy has dropped out of medical school, believing she can not make a difference following the death of her mother.
Her mother was a fan of surfing and Nancy has followed her in those footsteps. Taking a break from the norm, Nancy has gone on vacation to the island her mum always told her was best for surfing.
After meeting up with 2 other surfers, she spends most of the day surfing the waves, when they decide to call it a day, Nancy stays behind to catch one last wave, which will change her life forever!
As she rides the last wave, she is knocked from her surfboard by a great white shark, destroying her board, and cutting her leg on its tough skin! She manages to get to safety on an injured whale, a victim of the shark!
Unable to get the attention of her 2 fellow surfers, who have now left the beach, Nancy now needs to get to higher ground as the shark heads back to the whale to feed again.
The film does play like the Danny Boyle film, 127 hours, in that we have one main cast member, who needs to make decisions in order to live.
Whilst no cutting of arms off takes place, we do see Nancy try to close her leg wound using earrings, which is particularly gruesome.
Nancy does make it to a rock, where she finds company in a seagull with a damaged wing, and the 2 have a relationship that will make you think of Tom Hanks and Wilson in Castaway.
The film has a relatively short run time but it certainly packs plenty in, various situations arrive where Nancy looks like she may be saved, only for those attempts to be stopped by shark attacks!
We also have many scenes of hands and feet in the water, where you are unaware if the shark will attack.
These cat and mouse scenarios continue right to the films big ending when high tide means Nancy must make a swim for a buoy, just to keep out of the water. The finale will see Nancy and the Shark face each other!
With all the B movie, almost played for comedy shark films, it was great to see a film played for a bit more drama than laughs and does look great, considering its low budget.
Blake is excellent in the title role, bringing a character who you believe will want to live on as a testament to her brave mother. It is a credit to her that she does this, as for many sequences of the film, she is reduced to hot girl in bikini, with many close ups on her bottom, as she rides her board.
Steven Seagull, as Nancy names him, is also a fantastic co-star. A scene when Nancy, after fixing his wing, then sends him on his way on her broken board, was probably the tensest we had been since we thought the tiger would eat the wolf cubs in The Jungle Book remake!
The shark, however, as with most shark films, is a bit of a letdown when under the water, it’s great but the CGI really shows when it rears its head out of the water, and they try to make it do far too much. The film ending is also a bit silly too, but to say anything would be a spoiler.
Overall though, for the pure edge of the seat feeling we had watching the Shallows, this is definitely one of our favourite films of the year. If you love a shark movie you’ll love this
Excluding Jaws obviously, what is your favourite shark film? We’d love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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