In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The digital shark was mostly done by a Swedish company that is a digital shark specialist called Important Looking Pirates (ILP). Ever since their groundbreaking sharks and water simulations on Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandbergs Kon-Tiki (2012). See more »
Nancy ignites a plume of whale oil coming off the dead whale with the signal flare. However blubber has to be boiled in order to release whale oil. It isn't naturally in a liquid state, and wouldn't leak out of the whale, into the water. See more »
[looks at photo]
Is that you on the beach?
Oh, no, no, that's my, that's my mom.
See more »
El Lado Más Bestia de la Vida (Walk On The Wild Side)
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by Albert Pla
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment España, S.L.
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Nancy and Carlos are driving to the beach. See more »
People often underestimate or under-appreciate the ability to produce a genuinely good B-movie. There's Renny Harlin on one end of the spectrum, making crap like The Legend of Hercules, 12 Rounds, and The Covenant. But then you have someone like Jaume Collet-Serra, who knows a thing or two about framing a scene, getting good performances from his actors, and above all, making an entertaining movie.
The Shallows could have been an otherwise conventional and forgettable thriller without Collet-Serra's strong and stylish direction. For example, the scene when Blake Lively's character first gets attacked by the shark is beautifully composed - in one unbroken take, no less - and legitimately nightmarish, with the red blood slowly overtaking the blue screen. It also doesn't hurt that Lively successfully carries the entire film on her shoulders, giving what is arguably the best performance in her career to date. There's a quiet fierceness and admirability to her character that makes it easy to root for her survival.
Overall, there's a lot to like about The Shallows. It's gorgeously shot, suspenseful, emotionally gratifying, and entirely successful on what it sets out to be - a solid B-movie, and it takes skill to pull that off. Sure, it doesn't match the heights of either Gravity or The Martian, but then again, its budget is a mere fraction of what those films cost.
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