The Shallows (2016) [4/5]

WHAT WAS ONCE IN THE DEEP IS NOW IN THE SHALLOWS.

An injured surfer stranded on a buoy needs to get back to shore, but the great white shark stalking her might have other ideas.

We know so frighteningly little about the ocean. Hands down, the best shark-themed film (that I've seen) since 1975. The practical effects are fantastic, the CGI is great too, and Blake Lively gives a very good performance, pretty much carrying the entire film on her own. But what impresses me most, and what The Shallows does more proficiently than most creature features, is make you fear the space, not just the monster. The shark is scary enough, but Collet-Serra does such a wonderful job injecting fear into every inch of the blue that it inhabits. It makes you think: if these are the entities that inhabit the shallows, if these events can transpire along the surface, what sorts of horrors are gliding through the deep?

-Eli Hayes


I also wanted to say a few things about this movie. I love films that take place near or in the ocean. Such a beautiful, fascinating & frightening environment. I’m not going to lie, I saw a bootleg version of The Shallows and it wasn’t the best quality - by far the worst thing I have to say about this movie. Watch the legit version. No bootlegs. Here are a few thoughts and fun facts.

The film was very suspenseful and had me on the edge of my bed. I was in my bed because this movie starred Blake Lively and this is probably the closest I’ll get to having her in my bed. A little fun fact is that she actually slammed her face into the buoy when filming the climactic ending and the facial impact caused a running bloody nose for the duration of filming. They also used the actual footage of the blow to the face and bloody nose in the final cut, which can be seen in the climax. This movie marks Blake Lively’s second star role, the first being The Age of Adaline

The original working title for The Shallows was In The Deep and the screenplay was listed in the 2014 Blacklist of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year. Finally it was shot in part off the Gold Coast of Australia, other filming commenced in a giant swimming pool. 

The nickname for the seagull was Steven Seagull. The shark is female, as females are larger and scarier, as they obtain great scars from mating. The movie budget was estimated at 17 million dollars. Peculiarly, the lifespan of a shark is estimated at 17 years.

Watch this movie…then go swimming at the beach.

-Rocco Bovo