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
Blake Lively said in an interview during principal photography about doing her own stunts that "there wasn't a single scene that wasn't stunt-heavy, doing the underwater sequences I'm in 4.5 foot waves" she shares describing her toughest days on set "whether I was in the tank or when I was in the ocean I was about 300 yards away from Shore they would drop me off on this rock that was three feet by three feet, you're in the wild, you are in the land of big, incredible, majestic wild creature and if you're wearing a wetsuit you're dressed as a seal". See more »
Sharks are known to have a very fast response action when chasing their prey, when Nancy was pulled down by the chain she would never make it tricking the shark and dodge it to hit the anchor. See more »
[looks at photo]
Is that you on the beach?
Oh, no, no, that's my, that's my mom.
See more »
Bird Set Free
Written by Sia (as Sia Furler) and Greg Kurstin (as Gregory Kurstin)
Performed by Sia
Courtesy of Monkey Puzzle Records/RCA Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment 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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