The Shallows (2016)
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
There's some nice stuff in this and some bits that really don't work. The set up with the GoPro footage is very effective, tantalising, a great intro. But then the next scene has some overlayed graphics of the main character flipping through photos on her phone. It's a nice device for a corporate video (in fact I might pinch it), but it's really not cinematic and breaks the tension already built. This is a problem in general, overthought style, slomo surf shots with trance music blasting over the top. It feels like a promo for the beach. The phone overlay stuff is used time and again trying to fill in some back story, but it's incredibly jarring. There's lots of underwater Jaws type shots that thankfully by the 20 minute mark helps build some tension and from here on it does get better. Essentially though it's a B movie with a budget and for all it's plus points, it ruins the good things it has going. A much grittier treatment would've worked wonders. It's a simple story, not particularly original, but a good creative director could've done so much more.