The Shallows (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 83 minutes

The Shallows (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Concept, Acting
Bad: Bit dull and boring at times
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(3 votes)
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Rating: 5.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Since the coming of the Jaws movies, movies and stories about sharks, and other dangerous sea creatures, sometimes realistic, while other times preposterous, have had a huge following. Every now and then a new movie emerges out of the water and tries to bring something new to the genre, be it in the way of adding a lot of extra gore, creating a new ridiculous monster, or just by adding a good story to the equation. The Shallows tries to paint a fairly realistic picture of someone who is trying to survive on a small rock after being attacked by a shark, sadly she finds herself on a secluded ‘secret’ beach, thus she only has herself to find a way out of her predicament. Interesting? Quite certain. A great addition to the genre? Not so much.

The Shallows

Nancy (Blake Lively), a smart young girl who has a bright future ahead of her thanks to her medicine studies, doesn’t know her place in the world anymore, after her mother passed away due to an incurable illness (at least, that’s what we made of the subtle references). To honor her mother, Nancy heads to Mexico, to the exact same ‘secret’ beach where her mother used to go surfing when she was expecting Nancy. The island nearby is shaped as a pregnant woman lying in the water, and for some reason Nancy wishes to experience the thrills her mother did. While the original trip seemed like a lot of fun, at least in-between the soul searching, she gets attacked by a great white shark during one of her solo surfing sessions. She manages to make it out alive, with a huge gash on her leg and some other rather big cuts, but only thanks to swimming to a small rock, which is rather far away from the beach. While she tries to wait until the coast is clear, she notices that the shark isn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. There are only a few options in her situation; wait until she bleeds to death, try to make a swim for it or wait for help. Luckily she has her studies to back her up.

Even though the movie only spans about 83 minutes, you’ll notice that it’s actually a very slow flick. The introduction takes up nearly half of the movie’s running time, and even then, things are still quite slow, right until the final showdown, which in turn takes a bit too long to keep you excited the whole way through. Nonetheless, the movie has some good elements, especially the scenes where every detail is taken care of: wounds, the deterioration of said wounds, and so on. Sadly, the movie never properly shows  the shark attacks, which might displease viewers who were looking for a more horror-like experience.

Seeing this movie is mainly a ménage à one you’ll mostly see Blake Lively on your screen. That being said, she might actually be the main ‘attraction’ of this movie, and not only because you’ll see plenty of her, and her body, but also because she’s actually a decent actress, who pulls off her part convincingly. Of course, the movie starts off with a few sappy scenes which are clearly not her forte, the survival type however is truly a role she should explore further in other movies, as she could certainly pull off some bigger roles in said genre and/or position. A well deserved kudos to this fairly young actress.

For a movie that is only slightly over an hour, if you deduct the credits, this DVD version of The Shallows comes with a reasonable amount of special features. Even though most of the featurettes are spiced up making of sequences, they handle rather fun subjects, such as the filming on location or how the shark was built. Other than that, you can find a short, but interesting story about shark attack by a shark attack survivor and also the reason why these giant fish actually attack people. If you still want to prolong your experience, there are also a few deleted scenes, and a preview of ‘The Bronze’ to be found in the extras section.



The Shallows will certainly entertain people who are into shark attack stories, and are looking for a reasonably realistic experience of such scenario, safe for a few sequences. Nonetheless, most of the movie proves to be uneventful and many of the gory scenes are left to the imagination of the viewer, thus failing to please those who are either looking for action or some brutal scenes. Those sentiments aside, the character is rather appealing, and not only by her looks, which tends to carry the movie to the credits. Overall a fun watch for once, but you’ll probably never revisit the movie afterwards.

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Rating: 5.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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The Shallows (DVD) - Movie Review, 5.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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