Preview: The Shallows

It’s getting to be that time of year when beaches are absolutely packed with people on vacation. Surfers will be looking for the best waves, while families enjoy swimming along the shore. What a perfect time to release a new shark-based suspense-horror movie. The Shallows will be arriving in theaters, full of sharp teeth and tense moments, June 24th.

Given the SyFy treatment sharks have received with the Sharknado films (there’s a fourth one coming out, for those of you interested,) as well as titles like Sharktopus or Sharktopus vs Whalewolf (Why, dear god why, is that a title that exists?) the sub-genre has been a little dented. Films like Deep Blue Sea aspired to recapture the terror of being powerless in the ocean, where sharks are apex predators and humans seem to be little more than floating appetizers, but it fell closer to the campy side of things. Few things can come close to keeping beachgoers out of the water quite like the Jaws series did and The Shallows looks to be a spiritual successor to Jaws. The two trailers currently available make it seem so promising it could be the new reason to harken back to the old catchphrase “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water”.

The Shallows takes place on a beach simply known as Paradise, based on the previews. It could be any scenic resort, and that adds so much punch to the horror aspect of it. Shark attacks, though not as deliberate as these movies portray them, are the stuff of vacation-fears at any beach where a fin may split the waters. The Shallows preys on that expertly. Both previews build to the tension, starting with scenes of people enjoying a good time surfing. Then the initial shark bite… and then everything gets intense.

The shallows.jpg

In the tradition of taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary, The Shallows looks to pit a massive shark against a (hopefully—please don’t blow this, Hollywood) strong, female lead in a potentially deadly game of cat-and-mouse, and if these two trailers are any indication it’s the film that will have people reconsider wading into the waves for the rest of this summer.

By Phil Gorski

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