Grosse Point Geek – The Shallows
Nancy (Blake Lively) a med school drop out and surfing enthusiast, goes looking for a beach in Mexico, where her late mother visited when she she was a young woman. Upon finding it she spends a happy day surfing and soaking up the sun, that is until she is badly bitten on the leg by a huge great white shark who has been feeding on a nearby floating whale carcass. Barely managing to make it to a tiny island of rock just 200 yards from shore, Nancy must use all of her wits to come up with a plan to make it to a nearby buoy before the rising tide covers the rock and the shark has her for dinner.
As mentioned in a previous review, it is my firm opinion that there has only ever been one brilliant shark film – and that was Jaws, in distant second there was Renny Harlin’s preposterous but entertaining Deep Blue Sea, the rest, however, are frankly appalling.
So it was with happy surprise that i can report The Shallows is a rather splendid (if lean) bit of movie making.
Director Jaume Collett Serra (Non Stop) manages to create a thriller that is very exciting, well made, with great shark effects and features a fine performance from Blake Lively. It also has some seriously tense sequences, is very jumpy in parts, throws in a good deal of horror and overall proved to be one of this years better films. Not only that but it certainly reinforces my lifelong held belief that the ocean is really not a place where humans are supposed to venture – as it does seem to be that every living thing in it wants to sting, impale or devour us with somewhat pathological levels of gusto.
A damn good film this one – and once again just shows what can be achieved without the need for a massive budget and over blown sfx – other directors would be wise to take note.
Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek