I’m always down for a shark movie, creature features are some of my favourite horror flicks. They’re down right hilarious or actually really well handled. But theres sometimes when a film tries to be too serious, but at the end of the day it ends up being cheesy and kinda disappointing…if i go into a shark movie or creature feature expecting a b-level horror movie, I’m 100% down for. I’ve told many people who ask me for films, that I usually don’t like to recommend movies willy nilly, unless I know what you like because “I like bad movies or so bad they’re good movies as much as I like good movies.”
I’ve been following The Shallows ever since I saw a trailer a couple months ago. I unfortunately missed it in theatres as I was away, but I was able to locate a copy and give it a go.
The Shallows is about a surfer who is 200 yards away from shore and is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate test of wills. It is a Drama, Horror, Thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. He also directed House of Wax(2005), Orphan(2009), Unknown(2011), Non-Stop(2014), Run All Night(2015). I enjoyed Unknown and Non-Stop a lot, I thought they were interesting and fun movies. I thought this film was well directed, Collet-Serra has a weird eye for detail. But I think my favourite part of his films is how he uses technology on screen. If his characters are using a phone, using Skype for example, the conversation is actually on screen in the corner while we get a beautiful look at the cinematography. He utilized the same technique in Liam Neeson’s Non-Stop(2014), where Neeson played an air marshall using his phone to try to stop a threat against the passengers on board. It was a very cool effect that I’ve never seen before except in his films.
The film was written by Anthony Jaswinski. After going through his filmography, I recognize some of his films, but I’ve never seen them. After watching The Shallows, I don’t really want to. I didn’t think the script was anything to write home about, it felt generic. I think the film could have been much better with a different and more experienced script writer, Jaswinski’s claim to fame seems to be B-style movies. Which are great on its own, but thats where the pacing and ridiculousness come into play.
The acting on the other hand I thought was very well done. You follow Blake Lively’s character Nancy, on her quest for survival. I thought she did an excellent job and in parts was extremely believable, but was doing unbelievable thing. She was the best part about this movie, for sure.
There were some scenes with some genuine adrenaline and intensity, but there were some parts that were pretty bad. Especially the part on the buoy, the film hit a brick wall before that, but that was the chip in the foundation.
I have a few of negatives about this movie, but I’ll keep it brief as to not be a negative nelly the whole time. The script/story as I said was pretty awful, I mean its a shark movie, its not supposed to be shakespeare, but it wasn’t very good. There were moments in the film where my best friend and I were actually yelling at the screen for the character being dumb, or something absurd happening in the story. It took me right out of the film, some of the for lack of a better word, bullshit we were forced to watch. There were scenes where she could’ve easily had a better vantage point, but no, she chose to be dumb. My major concern with the film though, which bugs me, and i’ve discussed this before is the really bad CGI.
CGI, is only good when you don’t know its CGI, when its there and you know its there, but its not easy to see. There were parts in this movie, where the CGI was actually pretty good, maybe 25% of the time, but there were others where the CGI was so god awful. The shark looked awful, a scene where it breached the water was awful, it just looked like a B-movie shark movie. Which i’ll be perfectly honest are a guilty pleasure of mine, but even Deep Blue Sea (1999) which had genetically enhanced sharks, WAS MORE REALISTIC THAN THIS SHARK IN THIS SUPPOSEDLY SUPER SERIOUS MOVIE. Anyways enough about the fish. I actually laughed out loud for a good couple of seconds at one of the last scenes in the movie. Without spoilers, a person was sitting on the beach and it literally looked like he was sitting in front of a green screen, or just really poorly CG’ed into the movie. The shadows on him didn’t work with where the sun was, he just looked severely out of place. It was the final nail in the coffin for me.
Despite the film doing some cool things to change the shark genre and make something kinda new-ish. I feel like it tripped over its own two feet many times, I liked it for some reasons and I downright disliked it for others.
I give The Shallows a 3/5 for that reason.
Until Next Time!