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Film Review: The Shallows

I think one of the most terrifying movies in my teenage years was the original Jaws, and I’m quite sure it is one of the reasons I refuse to swim in the ocean, even after all these years. And no, it’s not because I don’t like getting my hair wet like most people think! OK well maybe it is!.....The year was 1975 and let me tell you this movie is a legend…especially the music. I decided to watch some YouTube videos of Jaws prior to writing this review, and when I look back at the cinematography and acting, it’s not so scary after all.

Which brings me on to this review of “The Shallows”. Remember, I’m comparing this movie to the terrifying similar movie of 1975 when I was just a young teenager. I have to admit, watching this one was not as confronting as Jaws, but then again, I’m older and wiser now.

Our heroine, Nancy (Blake Lively), has hitched a ride to a beautiful secluded beach in Mexico, where her mum (mom) once surfed after finding out she was pregnant with Nancy. Now Nancy has come to surf at the exact same beach shortly after her mother has died.

Firstly, as a mother of two daughters in their early 20’s, I’m not too impressed that this stunningly beautiful young woman is hitching a ride with a man she doesn’t know in a country known for its violence. Secondly, when she arrives at the beach, and she says goodbye to her ‘driver’ she is left all alone. However, she isn’t alone for too long! Once she leaves her backpack with phone, and her belongings on the beach, she’s in the water heading out to catch the waves where two young men are also surfing.

Now my ‘mother horror’ gets another challenge; this time our beautiful young woman befriends the two male strangers out in the water. She’s a little cautious but soon trusts them, and after she proves to them what an awesome surfer she is, they gain respect for her. The day becomes evening, and the two ‘guys’ decide to call it a day, leaving our ‘heroine’ to catch one more wave just on dusk.

Really? Who does that?

After the boys are back safely on the pristine beach, Nancy spots something unusual; a dead whale! OK, I’m not going to tell you the plot of the whole story, but you guessed it! Dead whale = blood = shark. Actually it is an enormous shark! The rest of the story is about injury and survival of the fittest. Now think: flares, jellyfish, tourniquets, rocks, gopro, buoy, and stitching up a shark bite with a ….(I won’t spoil it).

Watch out for Steven Seagal (watch carefully) this character won my heart.

Yes, there are some gut-wrenching moments when you want this to be all over and our heroine to be ok, but something tells you this girl is going to survive! Does she? Well I’m not going to tell you, but I will tell you the shark does come to a rather dramatic death, and that’s where the movie lost me! I’d have preferred a more realistic ending to be honest.

Would I recommend you see this movie? Yes, I enjoyed it a lot, and even though I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat as I did in 1975, that’s only because I’m just a cranky old duck who needs to get off her laptop more often and escape to the fantasy of more movies like this.

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