The Shallows – USA, 2016 – reviews

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‘What was once in the deep is now in…’

The Shallows is a 2016 American action horror feature film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax; Orphan) from a screenplay by Anthony Jaswinski. The soundtrack score is by Marco Beltrami (Scream; Carrie).

The $17 million film was originally titled In the Deep, a moniker that has since been used for another shark attack movie.

The film was released on June 24, 2016 by Columbia Pictures. It took $119,100,758 at the box office worldwide against a reported budget of $17 million.

In the US, it was released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on September 27 via Sony. A UK Blu-ray + Digital HD Ultraviolet arrived on 5 December.

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Buy: Amazon.com

Plot:

When Nancy (Blake Lively) is attacked by a great white shark while surfing alone, she is stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“There’s a moment near the end that would’ve made a perfect final shot—you’ll know it the instant you see it—but the movie feels compelled to keep going, to its detriment. And there are times where the special effects and editing aren’t as sharp as Lively’s performance deserves. But it’s still a taut, brutal film, pitting a ravenous sea creature against a woman as hard as coral. It wears you out.” Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

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The Shallows remains mostly an exercise in pure cinema, wherein action drives the narrative and audiences are expected to extrapolate Nancy’s thoughts by watching how she handles any given situation. In the final stretch, logic snaps like the rusty chains holding the beach’s lone buoy in place, though there’s no denying that the movie is more exciting when Nancy is in the water than hiding out on that bit of reef, talking to a seagull.” Peter Debruge, Variety

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“The filmmakers take an approach similar to Jaws in minimizing the shark’s screen time to increase the suspense and terror. Images of its fin sticking out of the water or its full body obscured under the water leave viewers on the edge of their seat. When Collet-Serra opts to show his shark in full, the sequences are still very effective…” Chris Agar, Screen Rant

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Buy Blu-ray + Digital HD: Amazon.co.uk

“Given her medical training, our heroine can turn a wet suit into a tourniquet or use her necklace to stitch up a nasty gash. As Nancy waits for a rescue, she pours out her feelings to a wounded seagull who seems to represent her dead mom … It’s all patently ridiculous. But Collet-Serra and Lively show no mercy in hooking us with the B-movie tension. And we bite.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

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“Critics are comparing this to Jaws — they shouldn’t. That movie had a plot and knew what a thriller on the ocean should be like. On the plus side, Lively looks great and is certainly game for all of this action (there were doubles for the surfing sequences), and the shark is entirely credible as, well, the shark.” Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood

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The Shallows isn’t that daft, thank goodness. In fact the opening hour isn’t bad at all. The info dump at the beginning is all a bit clunky and actually somewhat unnecessary – Nancy’s character would actually be more interesting the less we knew about her. Where the film does score is once she’s out in the sea, bitten on the leg, and struggling to survive too far from land to swim for it.” John Llewellyn Probert, House of Mortal Cinema

Cast and characters:

  • Blake Lively – Nancy
  • Óscar Jaenada – Carlos
  • Sedona Legge – Chloe

Filming locations:

New South Wales, Australia

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2 Comments on “The Shallows – USA, 2016 – reviews”

  1. I’ve noticed that there are at least 4 shark movies that go by the man of In the Deep (akas or actual titles…..). This is sometimes annoying because it creates confusion as to which movie is which!
    Or could it be a gimmick by distributors to catch unwary viewers !?!!?!😚

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