I can remember my first shark film experience….Jaws. I was only about six years old and the local drive-in was showing a double feature with Jaws being the latter film. I can tell you that 37 years latter that film has stayed with me! The ocean to me is a terrifying place… miles and miles of black, deep water below you, filled with all kinds of beasts that would love to have you for dinner. Even though I have this fear, I love shark movies…well, well-done shark movies! (don’t let the name fool you) When The Shallows came out to the theaters, I knew I’d be there to wade in!
The premise is simple…a young woman named Nancy goes surfing at a remote beach and is terrorized by a rather large and persistent great white shark. There is some fleshing out of Nancy’s character, but not much. There are just a handful of other characters in the film, but mostly this is a one-woman Blake Lively show. Honestly, she has always impressed me as a very good actress and she carries this film on her back very well . The cinematography and scenery in this movie are tremendous thanks to Cinematographer Flavio Martinez Labiano who most recently worked on The Gunman and Non-Stop. The film was shot in part off of the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia and I recommend seeing this beautiful film in the theaters, because I felt like I was right there.
Director, Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, House of Wax) presents a surprisingly quiet film, leaving lots of room to build up tension and dread. I was worried that the shark effects were going to be cheesy and fake, but I was impressed with the realistic shark-related action scenes. I have one small bone to pick about the realism of one scene in particular, but I enjoyed myself so much I am willing to forgive it that!
With a budget of $17 million, The Shallows made its’ budget back in its’ opening weekend and is now nearing the $40 million mark. That’s impressive for this type of film. It won’t be at the theaters much longer, so get out there and see it!
8 out of 10 Skulls