Saturday, 20 August 2016

The Shallows - The scoop and digest

I thought it best to see this on the big screen while ass still can.

In Mexico, medical student Nancy (Blake Lively) is given a ride by genial local Carlos to revisit a secret beach which she and late mother previously surfed years ago while pregnant.

Riding the crest of a wave, language barrier doesn't prevent conversation taking place with two geezers.

After video chatting with sis and dad, Nancy gets wet again, but guys call it a day.

Shortly after noticing the carcass of a Humpback whale, she's bumped off board and great white gives leg a nibble.

Enter the survival horror...

She manages to climb onto dead mammal, but temporary safety is selfishly interrupted by hungry beast.

At isolated reef, she uses wet-suit to make tourniquet and spends the night with wounded seagull.

Regrettably, relationship with feathered friend doesn't blossom like Wilson the volleyball.

As morning breaks, Nancy observes a pissed up guy on beach who instead of helping, robs her of belongings.

Don't worry, thieving bastard gets comeuppance when adding board to loot.

That my shit stain is called karma.

Surfing dudes return from earlier and become further meals.

Retrieving helmet housing GoPro cam, she records a message for family, tosses it into the sea and sends Steven Seagull (an obvious pun of Steven Seagal), packing on broken surfboard.

For those who don't know, James Buckley voices Hastings Direct character Stephen Seagull.

Yeah I know, who else would make that reference.

Knowing high tide is imminent, our girl makes haste through a smack of jellyfish and clambers upon nearby buoy.

She finds flare gun concealed inside compartment and fails to attract the attention of distant vessel.

Pesky fish refuses to quit and because of whale blubber creating oil trail, another flare simultaneously causes ocean's surface and shark to ignite.

Understandably pissed off, it takes apart floating platform.

Clutching remaining chain gives Nancy speed boost to ocean floor and after putting everything behind attack, shark is skewered like kebab on metal rods of buoy's mooring.

Alerted by his son (boy from beginning), Carlos finds Nancy in the shallows who regains consciousness.

While surfing in homeland of Texas, father says mother would have been proud.

Immediately comparable to Australian horror The Reef and even minimalist psychological trip Open Water, Jaume Collet-Serra's impressive directorial run continues.

I feared the worst after the first 20 minutes, but taut and entertaining final hour hurtles by.

Blake Lively delivers a strong and believable performance and importantly, menace from below is ubiquitous.

We don't get a proper look at monster until exciting climax and I think we can all agree CGI supersedes Sharknado.

Applying details such as mating scars female great whites visibly bear and black eyes rolling over white, Scott E. Anderson's creation is a digital delight.

Considering said predator can reach speeds in excess of 30 mph, sluggish pursuit before death smells strongly of freshly laid bullshit.

Bruce swims 'backwards' in Jaws, but as with every other mistake in my favourite film of all time - I don't care, I love it.

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