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July 11, 2016

A shark. A girl. Oh no!

by Alyssa Berrios, Staff Writer
With heart-stopping suspense and an intriguing climax, "The Shallows" brings many beachgoers' fear of sharks alive. The survival film includes many action-packed moments and is a modern-day 'Jaws,' woman versus nature (in the form of a gargantuan great white shark) thriller that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats with its riveting plot and detailed graphics.

The movie begins as a boy finds a GoPro in the clear ocean in Mexico. He takes the camera out of its water-resistant case and begins to flip through its contents when he finds a video showing the before and after shock of a shark attack that occurred on the beach. He then runs to find help and the movie transitions to show Nancy Adams (Blake Lively), a dropout medical student from Texas.

The Shallows

(released June 24, 2016)
"The Shallows," is an action-packed thriller. Courtesy of Fandango
Chips Rating:
4 stars

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Blake Lively stars in the "Jaws"-like shark thriller.

Shortly after the death of her mother, Nancy travels to a secret beach to surf, which is the same beach where her mother surfed years before, while she was pregnant with Nancy. When Nancy enters the water she meets two residents and the three surf for several hours. As dusk arrives the two men warn Nancy to head back to shore before it becomes completely dark. She reassures them that she never swims at night but she decides to take one last wave. While Nancy swims towards the upcoming wave, she begins to see a flock of seagulls flying above and schools of fish swimming away and the water moves more and more. Then, suddenly, the carcass of a whale, nearly the size of a ship, with a large gash in its side appears. Nancy examines the dead animal and realizes that there is a large great white shark searching for its next meal.

From the instant the whale appears, Nancy's race for survival begins. Stranded alone in the ocean, she has only the rock on which she is standing to keep her from certain death. Nancy stays terrified and crying all alone while the shark circles around her.

In the twenty four-hour period during which Nancy tries to survive the attack she sees her two companions die but has to continue on in order to save herself.

Traumatized after watching her new acquaintances be devoured and hopeless because she cannot manage to grab the attention of anyone on the shore, she finally rallies. She finds a GoPro that belonged to the two surfers at the beginning of the film and records a video for her family with it. She then throws the camera back into the ocean in the hopes that somebody will one day find it.

The animations and graphics of the animals of sea are displayed very well and add more action in "The Shallows." The detail of the shark make it very real and help the audience feel immersed in the film. Although the movie is a thriller, it is also thought-provoking. While Nancy is on the deserted rock her thoughts and actions force the audience members to think with her and find a way back to the shore. With excellent facial expressions, Blake Lively skillfully conveys her character's fear and hope.

Although "The Shallows" excels at keeping its viewers engaged, it is not perfect. Its plot, acting and overall production fall short in some aspects such as timing. Throughout the movie viewers get bored of just waiting for something to happen, such as the shark appearing. Furthermore, although much of the beginning dialog is in Spanish, there are no translations, and so many viewers miss out on jokes and plot development.

Despite weak plot development, "The Shallows" is excellent as a thriller. Its captivating action keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, awaiting the next attack.

The Shallows is rated PG-13 for shark violence and is now playing in theaters everywhere.



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  • uh on July 11, 2016 at 10:04 PM
    4.... this should be .5....
  • ... on November 13, 2016 at 10:15 PM
    this title is..... lacking
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  1. A shark. A girl. Oh no!