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By Horror Channel, Tuesday 19th July 2016
On a trip to a secret and mostly deserted Mexican beach, Nancy (Blake Lively) finds herself to be the prey of a very hungry shark. Trapped on a small rock, the tide threatening to throw her back into the water, Nancy has only her wits (she’s a med school dropout) and a seagull companion, she must figure out a way to get back to shore.
There’s a lot of fun to be had at this secret beach if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief (which as a fan of Horror, you should be). The premise of girl vs. shark is an easy one to go along with, and Lively offers up a performance worthy of her name and makes us root for her to survive. The shark is remarkably villainous, going after any little thing that enters its domain and, as every good shark movie knows, the shark is more scarier because you see less of it.
As Ghostbusters recently showed us, it’s hard to make a movie in the shadow of a classic. The Shallows is in no way a remake but every shark movie has the unfortunate task of standing against the classic blockbuster that is Jaws. The Shallows isn’t Jaws. It doesn’t try to be Jaws. Yet, when watching it, there’s always a little voice at the back of your head going “this is fun, but isn’t Jaws great?” This doesn't detract from the film (what film could escape the Spielbergian behemoth) and in fact is a testament to how enjoyable The Shallows still despite not completely standing up to the classic.
The Shallows is very thrilling, and Blake Lively’s performance really ties everything together. There’s a real sense of dread and pain that goes throughout the movie which is translates to the audience very well. Sadly the last act goes off the boil a little, using a little too much CGI and throwing away the less is more tactics that the film employed earlier on. There’s also a tacked on epilogue that doesn’t need to be there. Still on thrills and entertainment value alone, The Shallows is a tropical terror that should not be missed.
The Shallows opens in UK cinemas on August 12th.
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