Release year: 2016
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Screenwriter: Anthony Jaswinski
Starring: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, Joseph Salas, Bret Cullen, Sedona Legge, Pablo Calva
Needing some alone time to work her way through a personal loss, former medicine student Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing at a secluded beach in Mexico. But when a shark attacks her, Nancy suddenly finds herself fighting for her survival against all odds.
From picture-perfect shots of the ocean and Lively’s (The Age of Adaline, 2015) character diving in coral blue water Collet-Serra’s (Unknown Identity, 2011) movie moves into an incredibly tense survival thriller. Being a movie about surviving the attack of a shark, it is impossible not to compare The Shallows with the most famous of all shark movies, Jaws (1975), but where it like most other shark attack movies is a hunter/prey story, The Shallows is more of a psychological drama where surviving becomes a contest of will. Because Nancy is not in a position where she can talk about getting a bigger boat, she is on a rock 200 yards from shore, alone with only the company of a wounded seagull and a gaping shark bite in her thigh. The set-up is incredible simple and Lively spent the majority of the movie alone. This means much relies on her acting and luckily she has no problem living up to the responsibility. The young actress deliver a powerful performance, intense and focused and not the least; incredibly convincing. This part should give Lively free pick of future parts! The taut direction of Collet-Serra keeps the focus on the main thing and the movie is solid crafted. With a short running time the movie has been made lean and is therefore more intense, keeping you on the edge of the seat from disaster strikes and right until the end. It leaves great promise for the director who started out with the weak remake of House of Wax (2005) and makes you curious what he would have made of Suicide Squad 2, which he was set to direct for a while before abandoning the project to make upcoming Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson. Lean and mean, taut and tense, this is how you make a horror thriller!
Steven Seagull’s name in real life is Sully. He lives (to this day) in a seagull sanctuary in Australia, two extras seagulls were used to portray Steven Seagull according to producer Matti Leshem she added “They we’re all good but not nearly as good as him. Peggy was the vocal one, the very squawky bird. Gaviota (which means seagull in Spanish) I think he’s almost 30 [ as Steven is estimated to be about 15 or 20 years old] the most challenging thing about Sully as an actor is that seagulls are remarkably clean, they self clean a lot, so the blood on Sully- obviously fake blood he kept wanting to clean it off,So we had to deal with that”.
Picture copyrights: Sony Pictures