The Shallows (2016) Review


I’ve been waiting so long to see this film it’s ridiculous along with a slight fetish for found footage films (despite them mostly disappointing) I also strange as it may sound love a film set in one place. So along came The Shallows set mostly on a rock out to sea with a bit on the beach and an opening scene of arriving at the beach. Here’s my thoughts on this movie.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Stars: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo

Budget: $17 million

Run Time: 86 minutes

Tag Line: What Was Once In The Deep Is Now In The Shallows

Trivia – The movie was shot in part off the Gold Coast of Australia. Other filming commenced in a giant swimming pool.

Trivia – The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2014 Blacklist, a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.

The premise of the this film is simple and effective it follows Blake Lively as Nancy who has been stood up by her mate who decided to not go surfing but instead to go jump in bed with some fella. Nancy heads to a beach that her dead mother used to go to in Mexico, it’s a secret beach with some awesome waves to surf.

Arriving there she talks to her sister and her father over video phone, which is quite nicely shown over the top of the main picture, this is also done throughout the film with Nancy’s watch as she times certain events.


Once out in the ocean she enjoys surfing and meets two blokes who are also surfing. However things turn to crap for her pretty quickly as she stumbles on the corpse of a whale and what could possibly have killed a whale? That’s right a big sodding shark that’s what!

She is soon attacked by the shark and luckily the two blokes had mentioned a rock that comes out of the sea at low tide but is swallowed at high tide. She manages to make her way to the rock despite being injured.


From then on the premise is really simple and brilliantly played out, she has to survive on the rock whilst the shark circles. Now explaining this to some people might make it sound like a boring film but it really isn’t close to being boring at all. Her battle for survival is what makes the film so good along with a sea gull companion who was also injured by the shark. All leading to a make or break escape attempt.

The Good

  • Blake Lively, I’ve not seen her in much but for this film to work they needed a strong lead and she delivers on every level.
  • The plot, it’s so simple yet it makes such great viewing.
  • The action is well filmed and tense.
  • The seagull.
  • The drunk fella.
  • The choice to not have many characters, they could have had a few more see her stranded or dotted extra people here and there. Choosing not to really gave the feeling that she’d have to do this all on her own.


The Bad

  • Sometimes a few of the effects are a bit dodgy.
  • Eating the raw crab seemed a bit odd.

The In Between 

  • I didn’t mind the ending but I could see how some might think it’s a bit silly.

There may not be much competition as the Shark attack movies have never really been done justice but this is the best one since Jaws. I loved her battle for survival and I wasn’t sure how exactly the film would end. This is a must watch film that is beautifully filmed and really well acted by Blake Lively, it’s simple, well paced and good fun so give it a watch!

Overall Rating – 9/10

5 thoughts on “The Shallows (2016) Review

  1. I was also pleasantly surprised by this movie and Blake’s acting. It’s sort of a puzzle movie like those classic ‘how was someone murdered in a locked room,’ only the horror version–she’s alone and can only rely upon herself for rescue from this situation. The shark was also very well done as a villain, we’ve all seen poorly crafted water creatures, which further added to our sense of fear for the lead character’s survival.

    Liked by 1 person

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