June 15, 2016

Will ‘The Shallows’ Be The Horror Shark Picture We Have Been Waiting For?

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Written by: Lee Skavydis
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There are a wealth of motion pictures centering on the “shark attack” narrative. The Syfy channel has seemingly made it’s mark with audiences with its Sharknado franchise for the comedy value it provides audiences. Other countless direct to DVD shark films are available but most are produced on a low budget and with very limited directorial passion.

Jason Statham was recently announced as starring in the new shark movie project, Meg. The novel has been available for at least two decades and the development of the movie had been in constant limbo ever since one can recall. If anybody has read the book then they would know that its a horror shark story focusing on the prehistoric shark species, the Megalodon. The story in the book is told with a certain chilling style that reminds one of Peter Benchley’s Jaws, but with the casting of the British action star it makes you wonder if they are going to forego the tone of the source material and make the picture more suitable for an action loving crowd.

Although a box office hit back in 1999, Deep Blue Sea, starring the popular 1990’s rapper turned actor LL Cool J and Samuel L. Jackson, was a missed opportunity to produce a fearful shark movie. The mediocre shark effects certainly didn’t help and it seems that studios do not know how to make a horror shark picture that will have some longevity in terms of legacy. At least without the presence of Steven Spielberg, anyway!

On 29th June, The Shallows will have its USA release and the trailers, for once, offer a glimmer of hope that it will have the ability to legitimately terrify!

The synopsis is as follow:

Nancy, played by Blake Lively, is a surfer. One day she finds herself fighting for her life when she is trapped from coming to shore by a bloodthirsty great white shark! Although only 200 yards from safety, she has to use all of her wit and physical ability in an effort to not become shark food.

The international trailer surprisingly presents what looks like a relatively realistic thrill ride that is faithful to the appearance and physical capabilities of the oceanic beast. A brief shot of the shark jumping out of the water to grab a surfer is reminiscent of Spielberg’s original vision of what he had in mind for Christie’s death at the beginning of Jaws. A pure movie monster moment!

The feeling of seclusion also appears to have been represented well with our heroine stranded on a rock, the nearest safety device she can find. Thought looks to have gone into the motive for the constant presence of the shark that is obviously desperate to finish what it started.

Unfortunately with many low budget indie movie projects, many tend to vanish from the UK market. This is especially true for many horror pictures. However, this is not always due to the quality of the movie, but how effectively it has been promoted to the public. More precisely, a lack of effect! The masses unfortunately simply do not care for how much passion the filmmakers poured into their beloved movie. Sometimes an indie flick may do well on home video release on occasion. A lot that did, such as this year’s DVD/Blu Ray release of The Revenant, still had some eye catching promotion to back it up with. Having Leonardo Dicaprio as it’s main star certainly helped! 1999’s Blair Witch Project, however, all contained actors of an unknown quantity, but a wealth of cunning advertising guided it to box office and critical success.

Realistically, The Shallows probably will not be one to rival cinematic shark movies such as Jaws. But as long as the film entertains, contains some original but effective moments of shock and a memorable leading lady, then reaching cult classic status will not be all that bad.

About the Author

Lee Skavydis
Lee Skavydis
I am a die hard movie fan, owning over 500 movies on both DVD and Blu Ray. I try to go to the cinema at least once a week when time permits. My other hobbies include following fight sports such as boxing, travelling around, writing and editing, listening to heavy rock and cook the odd occasional recipe. I used to write for several prolific boxing websites, interviewing some of the most famous names associated with the sport around.



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