PLOT: A shark attacks a young surfer on vacation in Mexico. Stranded on a rock just offshore, it becomes the ultimate fight for survival.
Shark movies are a dime a dozen; if we’re not talking about Jaws, then we’re usually talking about one that isn’t worth your time. The Shallows, however, is actually a surprising entry into the subgenre. Clocking in at 86 minutes, the film wastes no time in set-up or execution, and manages to be effectively tense and well done. A trailer would probably call it a “pulse-pounding thrill-ride”, which I guess is accurate, if not a little cliché. It manages to tell a story of a shark attacking a young woman without going too far into the ridiculous, which any story about animals attacking humans tends to be.
Aside from a leg wound, the movie is actually low on the gore aspect. There’s more in Jaws, but there are moments where it gets pretty gruesome, especially during the initial attack.
Gore Rating: 2 out of 5
Genuinely tense, this movie does its job well. A decent shark movie that doesn’t get too ridiculous is hard to come by, and this one fits the bill. If you’re already afraid of the water, this won’t do much to help that out.
Scare Rating: 3 out of 5
None. Blake Lively looks great in and out of a wetsuit, but for some reason, they just couldn’t fit a sex scene in a movie that primarily takes place on a rock in the middle of the ocean. Weird.
Sex/Nudity Rating: 0 out of 5
This movie is better than it probably has any right to be. It tells a simple story, and it tells it economically, which is evident by its sub-90 minute runtime. The shark CG can be spotty at times, and the ending is a little rushed, but if you told me that I would actually enjoy a 2016 movie starring Blake Lively, I would have called you crazy. It’s tense, nice to look at, and doesn’t waste your time. It’s obviously not Jaws, but it is a nice surprise.