After losing her mother, Nancy (Blake Lively) drops out of med school and heads off to Mexico with a friend. Because her friend is still in bed recovering from a hangover, she ends up all alone on the secluded beach her mom once frolicked on and heads into the water to do some serious surfing. What she doesn’t know however, is that by doing so she has put herself right smack dab in the middle of a great white shark’s feeding ground. Stuck on a little rock just 200 yards in, she might as well be a million miles from shore.
Story-wise, there isn’t a lot to The Shallows. I mean, that first paragraph is pretty much it. Then again, some of the most effective horror movies out there didn’t need a lot of story. And director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, Unknown) shows that he doesn’t need much in order to pull off a taut little thriller. Plus, he makes everything look great. You can tell he started off directing commercials, especially during the first fifteen minutes where he uses a lot of colors that really pop, slo-mo sequences and flashy music.
Kudos to Blake Lively as well. She has to carry most of the movie on her own and pulls it off with ease. And let’s be honest here… the fact that she is nice to look at, doesn’t hurt things either. I’ll take that bikini any day over Rob Schneider’s short shorts. Something else that looks great, is the shark. I’m not the biggest fan of CGI, but they did an awesome job in making the creature look scary as shit.
Collet-Serra goes a little overboard towards the end with a scene that borders on the ridiculous, but by then The Shallows has already offered more than enough for you to chomp on.