The Shallows

Starring; Blake Lively
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

Plot: Nancy (Lively) goes to a secluded beach to reconnect with her mom, who went there when she was young. Unfortunately, there’s a shark. Tragedy ensues.

What Works: The pacing in this film is pretty terrific, because they didn’t push it. At 86 minutes, if it was any longer, it would have been pushing it. It kept the intensity, which is sometimes hard for a film with basically only one character. I think Blake Lively did a good job with what she was given. Also, the film looks terrific. This is some of Collet-Serra’s best work. He’s been a fairly consistent director in the past with Liam Neeson movies like Unknown and Non-Stop.

What Doesn’t: The writing here is pretty bad. Every time Nancy speaks, it’s like… who wrote this? A 10th grader? Also, I know the film is low budget, but some of the shark closeups weren’t great. I could tell it wasn’t real.

Final Word: A decent thriller, and a good vehicle for Blake Lively to show she’s capable of carrying a film. It’s not particularly scary, unless you’re terrified of sharks. I appreciated the director’s choice to not use jump scares, and just build the tension instead. If this film had a better script, it would be a much better film. I almost would have preferred less dialogue, and just long moments of silence. Catch this at Redbox.

Final Grade: B

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