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The Shallows: The Shark Movie Fans Have Been Waiting For

The Shallows: The Shark Movie Fans Have Been Waiting For

The Shallows is the story of Nancy, a med student from Texas, who goes out to Tijuana, Mexico desperately trying to come to terms with the death of her mother. She visits a secluded beach, perfect for surfing, but she soon discovers that she’s actually on the feeding ground of a great white shark. She is a mere 200 yards from the shore, but with the great white circling mercilessly around the small crag of rock she clings to, she will need to use all her resourcefulness to make it back to land alive. 

The key to a successful shark film is adrenaline and The Shallows most certainly delivers on that front. My heart was pounding in my chest with every crash of every wave and I was continuously jumping from all the unexpected frights. The ominous music and sound effects kept me on the edge of my seat and my entire body was tense with fear for Nancy as she battled with the great white shark. 

This horror-thriller is not for the squeamish or the faint hearted as it gets pretty grim at times. Watching Nancy ‘stitch’ up her own leg wound with the little resources she has is really very painful to watch, and no doubt more painful to deliver, but it is one of Lively’s best moments in the film. Known for playing the role of Gossip Girl‘s Serena Van der Woodsen, Lively really outdoes herself in The Shallows. This is definitely one of her best performances yet and she completely wowed me with her powerful performance. It’s obvious that part of the reason Lively was cast is because she’s a beautiful, leggy blonde. However, she proves herself to be much more than just another piece of eye candy with what is pretty much a one (wo)man show.

Whilst thoroughly gruesome in parts, the scenery in The Shallows is absolutely magnificent. The crystal clear, blue waters just make you want to go on holiday and relax in the sea.. Until the shark arrives. As with most shark films, you don’t see much more than a fin poking out of the water for the majority of the film. We only see the shark properly at around an hour in and the effects aren’t as bad as usual for shark films. That said, there was one moment when I thought the graphics were awful but hey, you can’t have everything.

Admittedly the film does start to slow in the middle as Nancy finds herself trapped on a rock deciding how to outwit the shark, but the beginning and ending have enough action to keep the adrenaline coursing through you throughout the film. The Shallows is less than an hour and a half long and yet it feels like a lifetime as you nervously wait for the next shock. The plot is simple, it is simply Nancy vs Shark, so it is impressive that they’ve managed to carve a seriously good film out of such a basic story line.

So is this the best shark film since Jaws? I would certainly say it is. There are numerous reviews out there berating this film but it’s the sort of film that critics love to hate. Both entirely predictable and yet entirely unpredictable, The Shallows is the shark movie that fans have been waiting for, and boy have they been waiting a lot time. If you consider yourself a shark movie fan, then The Shallows is a must-watch for you. Jam packed full of adrenaline-filled moments, continuous frights and powerful, realistic acting, The Shallows isn’t another dumb shark film. This is a truly scary horror thriller that will make you think twice before you paddle in the shallows again.

Watch The Shallows Online

If you liked this post, check out these:

The Meg Review
Shark Night 3D Review
127 Hours Review
The Cabin in the Woods Review

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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

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  1. Angela Milnes
    19th September 2016 / 7:45 PM

    ooh I have not heard of this one! I look forward to watching it!

  2. Christine Dodd
    19th September 2016 / 7:50 PM

    I was a teenager when Jaws came out in the seventies and it scared the living daylights out of me!

  3. 19th September 2016 / 8:32 PM

    Woweee, now that’s a claim…the best shark film since Jaws. You’ve sold it to my mummy, she just has to see it now!

  4. LaaLaa
    19th September 2016 / 9:22 PM

    Damn, Jaws big claim. That’s something, lol another film to stop people wanting to go in the water lol x

  5. Joanna
    19th September 2016 / 9:28 PM

    Sounds like a great film and a must see for those that love jaws.

  6. Vaichin@RamblingThroughParenth
    19th September 2016 / 9:57 PM

    Sounds properly scary. And here I was thinking sharks don’t venture out in shallow waters!

  7. Little Steps
    19th September 2016 / 10:03 PM

    Not a big fan of horror/thriller movies. I remember as a kid I’ve seen a few old Jaws movies (don’t remember which) and I remember that really freaked me out and wouldn’t go near the open water!

  8. Harriet
    19th September 2016 / 10:04 PM

    This is not one for me. I have a big shark phobia. Even get the heeby jeebies where I know there’s nothing out to get me!

  9. 19th September 2016 / 10:10 PM

    I’m not a huge fan of horror thrillers but this looks interesting. I think I’d have to see this at home with my face behind my hands x

  10. Louise
    19th September 2016 / 10:22 PM

    I always find it quite fascinating when they take such a simple idea and spread it out over the course of a movie – and successfully too! I really want to see this and see Blake Lively in a new role x

  11. 19th September 2016 / 10:33 PM

    God that is so sad, poor girl after the death of her mother. I am not really a fan of shark films but Jaws was ok.

  12. Mellissa Williams
    19th September 2016 / 11:00 PM

    I have seen a trailer for this and it does look really good. I would love to see how she outwits a shark!

  13. 19th September 2016 / 11:07 PM

    No No! I am too scared of the ocean as it is! Haha. My family love a good shark film though! Have you heard about the MEG movie?

  14. 20th September 2016 / 3:44 AM

    I’m definitely curious about this one. It sounds super intense. I swear my boyfriend watches Jaws five times a year. Maybe we’ll watch this one together.

  15. 20th September 2016 / 7:37 AM

    I can still remember having nightmares over Jaws but I loved the film so I think I would like this too x

  16. Jayne
    20th September 2016 / 10:18 AM

    I remember being terrified of Jaws! Haha.
    Curious to see how this one pans out though.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    20th September 2016 / 10:34 AM

    I can’t watch shark films, as I get too scared. But, my husband would love this!

  18. Beautyqueenuk
    20th September 2016 / 1:17 PM

    OOh this sounds better than I originally thought it would!

  19. 20th September 2016 / 2:34 PM

    I have some friends who watch every shark movie going so I am totally going to have to tell them about this as I bet they would adore it! x

  20. 20th September 2016 / 5:03 PM

    After watching the trailer I actually really want to see this!

  21. Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️
    20th September 2016 / 6:37 PM

    Sounds so good and right up my street so I’ll have to watch it x

  22. Kara
    20th September 2016 / 7:05 PM

    Now this sounds like my kind of film – I had not heard of it so thank you

  23. Nayna Kanabar
    20th September 2016 / 8:47 PM

    This reminds of Jaws I really can’t do blood and horror.I think I would be too scared.

  24. 20th September 2016 / 9:00 PM

    I’ve not heard of this coming out but definitely looks like something I’d enjoy. Love scariness and definitely has that Jaws vibe x

  25. Melissa Zia
    20th September 2016 / 9:07 PM

    Looks a lot like Jaws! sounds like a film I would want to watch

  26. tp keane
    20th September 2016 / 9:33 PM

    Eeep, this would give me the willies. Not sure I could sit through it lol

  27. 20th September 2016 / 10:04 PM

    Oh I’ve heard lots of things about this, will have to check it out!

  28. 20th September 2016 / 10:12 PM

    I’ve heard a lot about this film, sounds like a good thriller!

  29. fashion-mommy
    20th September 2016 / 11:40 PM

    My husband is obsessed with sharks so he will have this on his to watch list I’m sure.

  30. Melanie Edjourian
    21st September 2016 / 9:31 AM

    OMG this looks brilliant, I love these films and am also terrified all in one lol.

  31. 21st September 2016 / 7:58 PM

    I think this looks great! I know what you mean about certain films that critics love to hate but that’s why I’m so glad that people take the time to make up their own minds and write about it like you do! x

  32. Clairejustineo
    22nd September 2016 / 8:40 PM

    I had not heard of this film before. Sounds great, I need to start going to the cinema more 🙂

  33. Megan Ogden
    22nd September 2016 / 8:59 PM

    I’ve been wanting to see this movie! Thank you this awesome review!

  34. 22nd September 2016 / 9:45 PM

    I’ve heard a friend of mine saying how good this movie is too. Definitely not for me – far too squeamish but I do agree that the scenery looks stunning.

  35. 23rd September 2016 / 10:38 AM

    ive not heard of this before. ive never really been into shark films and haven’t even watched jaws

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