Veteran action and horror filmmaker, Jaume Collet-Serra, returns this weekend with the survival thriller, The Shallows. It's really a simple script from the mind of budding scribe, Anthony Jaswinski, and starring the blonde beauty, Blake Lively. And although The Shallows clearly isn't anywhere near the quality of Spielberg's classic shark hunting tale, Jaws, the film manages to provide adequate thrills and worthwhile tension.
Following her mother's losing battle with cancer, a med student named Nancy (Lively) venture's to the same tropical paradise her mother visited before she was born. Nancy enjoys a majestic day of soaking in some sun on the beach and surfing until a monstrous shark chases her onto a rock 200 yards from shore. She must battle in a game of wits with this cunning predator in order to survive the fast approaching high-tide that will force Nancy back into the shallow waters.
The Shallows serves as a unique blend of survival and horror genres. Serra manages to provide some excellent suspense, but it occasionally feels wasted on a weak PG-13 MPAA rating. Lively certainly convinces in her leading role as a resourceful combatant to an enormous predator of the ocean. Yet, The Shallows suffers from typical thriller cliches such as nonsensical characters who are supposed to represent help, but fall victim to their own idiocy. Furthermore, the film's finale is riddled with question marks as it feels completely unbelievable in retrospect. Yet, I will admit that the execution of this ending is exhilarating in the moment. The Shallows is far from a must-watch film, but it manages to accomplishes its goals rather well.