Second Union

Second Union

Second Union’s 31 DAYS OF HORROR: Day 29 – The Shallows (2016)

Welcome to the Second Union 31 Days of Horror event! Every day leading up to Tuesday, October 31st, (starting Sunday, October 1st) we will post a review of one horror film.

Today’s Film: The Shallows. Enjoy!

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of October, everybody. It’s safe to say that The Shallows is not that scary when compared to other films on the list, but it’s a great thriller and a fun flick to watch overall. It’s a simple enough, entertaining enough, and weirdly awesome enough thriller. The film follows Nancy (Blake Lively), a surfer who ends up getting attacked by a great white shark and stranded in the middle of the ocean, with no one to rescue her. She must rely on her resources to survive the beast, who is definitely not giving up.

I think the main problem The Shallows has is just not being enough. It’s a fine film, but it really doesn’t push the boundaries of the genre it’s trying to fit into. What does this have that Jaws didn’t have forty years ago? Sure, better special effects are a win. I mean, the shark in this movie looks fantastic! The cinematography is also gorgeous to look at. However, there really isn’t much else that it can 1-up the classic over. The film, at times, feels scary, but the film takes way too long getting to the good stuff. We didn’t need corny shots of Nancy surfing. We didn’t need the tedious dialogue between Nancy and other surfers in the beginning. A fine setup, sure, but unnecessary.

Blake Lively’s performance is fantastic. Her simple reactions to the off-screen deaths of people she tries to get help from are enough to show how nasty and relentless this shark really is. The way of showing her struggle and pain of not being able to kill the damn thing is also quite brilliant. The bloody and fun tone also makes the pacing feel a lot faster than it is in actuality.


The ending is pretty straightforward. There are no big twists. Nancy kills the shark, reunites with her family, and goes surfing with her sister. It’s a fine conclusion to a movie that’s nothing more than a sheer popcorn flick. Everything about it is nothing short of fun, and nothing more than average. I’m going to give it a B.

The Shallows stars Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge, Pablo Calva. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.

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