DVD Review: The Shallows
By John Corrado
★★½ (out of 4)
When Nancy (Blake Lively) goes surfing on a secluded beach in Mexico, she finds herself circled by a great white shark, after cutting her leg and spilling blood into the water. Stranded on a large rock a couple hundred metres from the shore, and trying to nurse her wounds while keeping the predator at bay, Nancy has to make due with her limited resources and find a way to survive with what she’s got.
This is pretty much the entire plot of The Shallows, and what little backstory we do get feels thoroughly clichéd. But the film modestly delivers in terms of stripped down thrills, offering ample suspense throughout its surprisingly scant running time, with set-pieces that are staged with resourcefulness on the part of director Jaume Collet-Serra.
Grounded by a fine performance from Blake Lively, capably carrying the film on her shoulders, and featuring some clever little touches that are nicely woven into the storytelling, including a seagull that provides her company and the pretty ingenious use of a GoPro, The Shallows is a fairly decent film that offers enough small thrills to make it mildly worth a look at home.
The DVD also includes deleted scenes as well as four featurettes on the production.
The Shallows is a Columbia Pictures release. It’s 86 minutes and rated 14A.