To me, The Shallows is deceptively gorgeous and yes, it is absolutely the best shark movie since Jaws

The Shallows reviewYes, I honestly do think The Shallows is the best shark movie since Jaws, but being a huge animal lover – yes, I do buy all organic and free range, but no I’m not a vegetarian (not every day anyway) – I do need to address something. We’ve learned a lot about sharks since Jaws and they are being hunted and threatened by extinction, which is awful.

Yet, to make a shark horror movie, the shark has to be the bad guy. We’re not saying all rednecks are inbred psychos either, but this stereotype sure helps horror movies like the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. Sharks just want to mind their own business and we should let them. Okay, rant over.

Right from the beginning of The Shallows I felt like going to the beach to surf. This was before the shark showed up, mind you, but I already knew it was coming. I’ve just always loved the water. Or maybe, in this particular case, I just wished I looked like Blake Lively. Yes, she looks damn good and yes, they do use that – in true horror fashion – to get some great shots of her impressive physicality. The woman had a child before doing this movie(!).

In any case, my point (and I do have one), is the fact that the movie starts out with the usual beautiful shots of surfing and being around the ocean, which pulls you into this world right from the beginning. The plot is simple and unlike movies such as Open Water, our main character is trapped in fairly shallow water and close to the shore, but when a shark is between you and the shore, it doesn’t really matter how close it is.

While watching The Shallows I never thought about the shark as anything but being a real shark. The fact that it’s mostly CGI is breathtakingly amazing. It looks so real. That’s certainly one thing that does set it appart from many other shark movies.

the shallows shark movie review

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, who brought us Orphan back in 2009, there’s no doubt that while the effects are important, it’s the psychological horror aspect that really works you over. Collet-Serra is truly an expert at this particular “effect”. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without an equally focused script by Anthony Jaswinski, who is the unsung hero of this movie.

There’s a lot of fighting spirit and girl power in The Shallows, which is always a bonus to me. I suppose it goes without saying, but for the record, this works so well thanks to Blake Lively’s performance. She’s mostly on her own during The Shallows, so she has to deliver in every single scene. And she does! You don’t want to miss out on this movie, and you really need to watch it on the big screen.

The Shallows is currently playing in movie theatres in the US and Canada – UK release date is August 12, 2016.


Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Anthony Jaswinski
Cast: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge


A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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