American survival thriller THE SHALLOWS has many things that will give you a chilling experience and will even remind you of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film Jaws. In the recent past, we have not watched many good sea survival thrillers. Leaving aside Jaws, Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea (1999), and the 2003-released psychological horror drama Open Water’ no other killer shark film has been impressive enough.
Talking about THE SHALLOWS, the movie is a mixture of different ideas that made it a decent survival thriller. The story follows Blake Lively’s character Nancy Adams, a medical school dropout, who is on a vacation, shortly after the death of her mother. A pro surfer, she is on this trip to an unknown beach in Mexico, which is also the same beach her mother had once surfed. So, she had a reason to travel this far.
After being transported to the beach by a local named Carlos who refused to tell the name of the beach, but only termed this paradise, Nancy joined two other locals in her surf adventure. Bluewater, picturesque surroundings, and the memories of her mother push her to remember her mom and also enjoy this lost paradise full of natural beauty.
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There is a backstory conveyed through iPhone photos and her chat with her sister and father, although not explored fully, enough to set forth the purpose though. Nancy, probably while riding her last wave back to the beach spotted the carcass of a large whale. As she tried to swim toward the beach, a large white shark hits her surfboard causing her to fall and hit her head on a submerged rock.
Nancy then swam and crawled onto the whale carcass although the shark stays in the vicinity, and at one point violently attacked from underneath. Nancy then had no other option but to take shelter over an isolated rock. Unaware of Nancy’s situation, the two locals left the beach while she spent the night on the rock with no clue about what was going to happen next.
THE SHALLOWS never tried to be one of those great survival thrillers or bring anything strikingly new, rather it stays in the simplistic zone with the sole idea that survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s resourcefulness, imagination, and strength.
Nevertheless, the movie has moments that will give you chill and thrill. I don’t know why in a section of media, it’s been advertised as a horror-thriller, rather it’s a survival-thriller with impressive National Geographic-kind cinematography, of course, with few unsettling moments.
Starring: Blake Lively
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Written by Anthony Jaswinski
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography by Flavio Labiano
Release Date/Year: June 24, 2016