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The Shallows Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends at FatCats Gilbert. FatCats Gilbert is located on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline, and it is the best place to spend the summer if you are looking for something to do. What do you want to do this summer? FatCats Gilbert answers that question with, “a little bit of everything!”

I’ve already reviewed The Neon Demon, so it’s time to take a look at the newest shark movie out this week starring Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively called The Shallows. I have to first say that I love shark movies. I recognize that most of them aren’t exactly what you would call “good,” but they are some all-time guilty pleasures for me. I enjoy watching them so much, and Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is one of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve seen it so many times, and it’s one of those movies that I stop, sit down, and watch every time I see it on TV, and my Blu Ray copy definitely sees its share of plays. I really like shark movies, so I was really excited for The Shallows. Also, The Shallows was on the Hollywood blacklist which is a list of the best unmade screenplays, so I was even more excited after learning that, so let’s see if it’s as good as I hoped it would be!

The Shallows is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and stars Blake Lively as Nancy, a surfer who goes to a secret beach to surf by herself and have a little bit of alone time to reflect on herself and her mother. The beach seems like a perfect paradise with few people, white beaches, clear water, beautiful wildlife, and a little bit of mystery. Alone at sea, she runs into one of the most terrifying animals to see in movies, a great white shark. She is stranded all by herself about 200 yards from the shore, and she must use her survival skills, smarts, and pure will power to escape the shark and survive.

We went a long way to see this movie tonight, but I have to say that I’m happy we did. I really liked The Shallows. One thing that this movie did so incredibly well was build the tension and build the rivalry between Nancy, Blake Lively’s character, and the shark. I think that the shark is one of the most menacing sharks we have seen in shark movies, and one of the reasons is because I thought that the shark was so real. This is a real possibility. We see a lot of shark movies that are fun to watch, but I don’t even consider the idea of myself being in the water with the shark. After The Shallows, I’m not sure how long it’s going to be before I’m totally comfortable going fifty feet into the ocean. It’s going to be a little while. The idea of the shark being in the shallow waters and hungry for people while constantly watching is so horrifying, and it is so well-realized in The Shallows. I also really liked Blake Lively in this movie. I really liked watching her character go through this terrifying event. I thought that she was realistic for the most part, and I bought her character. Between the action, the suspense, and the rivalry between the main character and the shark, I really had a good time with this movie!

I had a ton of nail-biting fun with this movie, but I had a few issues with it. First of all, the opening scene, without spoiling anything, shows a little bit too much. I thought that it was unnecessary. I mean, we all knew what we were getting into when we walked into a movie called The Shallows. I didn’t need to see what I saw in the opening scene. The movie had an hour and twenty-six minutes left to show us why we should be terrified, and it had a while before it needed to release a small bit of that fear and tension the way that I thought that the opening scene did. Next, I didn’t think that the shark looked as real as it possibly could have, but considering it is one of the best looking sharks in a shark movie, I don’t have much to complain about. There were a few consistency issues, as well. For example, there is a scene where the main character is having a Skype conversation with her family, and even though the wide shot of her walking on the beach holding her phone shows her with a closed mouth and hair in her face, the “Skype shot,” if you will, does not show that. It’s not something that hindered my enjoyment, but I did notice it. Finally, I thought that the final scene felt a little bit forced. I liked the concept of the final scene, but the way it was portrayed and written felt extremely forced, and it kind of took me out of the movie in terms of reality.

Overall, I really did like The Shallows, and I had a ton of fun with it. It builds suspense so well, and it could be my second favorite shark movie of all time with Jaws, of course, being number one. I really liked what Blake Lively brought to the table, and the way that she interacts with the shark totally worked for me. I thought that the movie was beautiful with some really amazing nature shots. I love the beach, so the shots really caught my eye. Again, I really liked the suspense that the movie built, and all of the action with the shark and the way that the shark terrorized the main character. I had a few issues with it, but I wouldn’t say that its technical flaws held me back from really enjoying the movie. I thought that the two worst scenes were the first and the last scene, but the entire time in between I was completely hooked. The thing is, both scenes would have worked for me had they been adjusted slightly. Is it Jaws? It’s definitely not Jaws, but I still thought that it was a fun and well-done shark movie. I’m going to give The Shallows a 7.2/10.

Are you going to check out The Shallows this weekend? If you are, comment down below and let me know! What will you be seeing this weekend? There is so much to see, so hopefully there is something at the theater for everyone. I posted my review for The Neon Demon yesterday, so be sure to check that out by clicking right HERE! Also, I should have my review for Independence Day: Resurgence out tonight, so be sure to stay tuned for that! I would also like to finish this review a little differently, and I’m going to do it with a little bit of a PSA. I’ve heard so many stories about how the experience of a horror movie, or any other genre of film, has been ruined by moviegoers around those who are really trying to enjoy the movie. Even more stories have popped up since the release of The Conjuring 2. Luckily, we didn’t run into that in The Conjuring 2, but I have heard plenty of stories from those who did. I did, however, run into that at The Shallows. Please, if you’re going out to see a movie this weekend whether it be The Shallows, The Conjuring 2, or Finding Dory, just consider the others in the theater trying to enjoy the movie. Stay off your phone. If it’s important enough that you have to worry about it while you’re at a movie, you probably aren’t at a movie. Also, please get into the movie. Let it soak in as much as possible. Don’t do it by just yelling at maximum volume about how bad a situation is or tell a character what they need to do. It’s not necessary, and while the person next to you is trying to put themselves in the world of the film, it’s not an easy task if you are yelling and screaming about how big the shark is. It is even less acceptable when you decide to use profanity at yelling volume in the middle of the movie. Just be courteous to others, and after paying somewhere between ten and twenty dollars to see a movie, get you money’s worth by letting it take you away! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!


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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm