Review: The Shallows (2016)

Are you ready for another shark movie in your life? Well you should be because The Shallows opens this weekend! Shark movies are basically a sub genre of their own. There are the good ones that make you want to never set foot in water like Jaws,which I actually haven’t seen, and will probably be part of my Millennial Morgan Plays Catch Up column at some point, and Deep Blue Sea, which I have loved since I was little, even though it really scared me. Then, there are the plethora of cheesy SyFy channel ones like Sharknado, and Ghost Shark. The Shallows is clearly supposed to be in the first group, as it’s marketed as a drama, horror, and thriller movie, but does it rightfully claim its spot or is it a missed opportunity?

The Shallows is about a girl named Nancy, who comes to a secluded beach that her mother once went to. While surfing, she is attacked by a shark, and is left stranded in the water not too far from the shore.

Ever since the trailers first came out, this movie intrigued me. I definitely wanted to see it, but was questioning how this movie that seemed to have such a simple plot was going to be an hour and 27 minutes long. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the movie, because I felt like the trailers showed it all, and it’s very rare for me to feel this way. Nonetheless, I was still excited for it because I love Blake Lively, and the trailers did look good.

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To be honest, I’m not sure what the majority of people will think about this movie, but I liked it. It is a very slow movie, with not many scares, and it is pg-13 so it isn’t very bloody or gorey either. There were surprisingly a lot of kids at the screening I went to, and I didn’t hear any screams, so I don’t think they even found it that scary,haha. It did have me feeling anxious throughout it,though. I think it leans more towards thriller than horror. I personally tend to group those two genres together anyway so it didn’t bother me, but I feel like it’s going to be one of those movies that people debate about whether or not it’s truly horror. There is a found footage element in this film. In the trailer we see the main character Nancy, facetiming with her sister, but there’s also footage from a surfer’s Gopro camera incorporated into the story. It only takes up a teeny tiny fraction of the movie, though, so if you aren’t a fan of found footage, it shouldn’t be a problem. There is one moment that reminded me of those cheesy shark movies, but it wasn’t too bad. There’s also one particular shot that I found really cool, and aesthetically pleasing.

So, it’s basically middle ground when it comes to the shark sub genre. See The Shallows in theatres this summer, and tell us what YOU think about it right here in the comments, or on twitter, or facebook!

About Morgan Jewel Sawan 84 Articles
Graduate from Oregon State University, with a Bachelor's of Science in Liberal Studies, a self made degree plan, that focused on media, writing, film, and women, gender and sexuality studies, aptly titled "Writing for and about film with a feminist perspective". I inherited my love of halloween and horror movies from my mom. My favorite horror movie is Scream, which is highly ironic considering I was deathly afraid of Ghostface, who I had very vivid nightmares about that I still remember perfectly, as a child. Some of my other favorites are Hereditary, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Beetlejuice, The Shining, The Conjuring, and much more! Even though I’ve pretty much been a life long fan of horror I still have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the classics, ergo my Millennial Morgan Plays Catch Up reviews, which I plan to bring back soon. My passion project for the site is our digital zine, called Fright Like A Girl that's all about women in horror, made by women who love horror! In my free time, besides writing for the site, and working on my dream of becoming an actress and film maker, I enjoy making youtube videos (MJ Sawan on youtube), playing video games, going to conventions like Texas Frightmare, and Horror Hound, and cosplaying! I've cosplayed as Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare On Elm Street, Ripley from Aliens, and more. You can follow me on twitter, @frightlikeagirl, where I tweet A LOT about movies of all types, and the people in them.