Ever since Stephen Spielberg’s blockbuster Jaws in 1975 many filmmakers have been trying to copy it but what we usually get is B-movie slop.

But Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra and actress Blake Lively have done what none have done before – made a great shark movie after Jaws. Here is my quick bite review (get it? Shark? Bite? You get it):

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Dunh dunh. Dunh dunh. Dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh…

The Shallows is the story of medical student Nancy Adams (Lively) who gets stranded 200 miles off shore while surfing at a deserted beach in Mexico and is hunted by a great white shark. One thing Collet-Serra borrows from Jaws is that you rarely see the shark, and when you do he is a terrifying son of a gun, but the film distinguishes itself with its intimate, minimalist, lone survivor aesthetic.

The tension is gripping and every step into the water super intense though I thought the countdown timer was a bit superfluous. The shark terror is also contrasted well with some gorgeous cinematography.

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Sharkberg! Dead ahead!

The film is more survival thriller than horror and Lively is a revelation as the driven Adams and she gives us a vulnerable yet strong character we can root for. And the message that you should never stop fighting is also driven home poignantly.

The Shallows was made for $17 million and grossed more than $110 million, showing that a well crafted, well acted film can be a success even without a huge budget.

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Well this vacation turned out swell…

Rating: The Shallows gets 3.25/4 shark bites

So have you seen The Shallows? What did you think of it? Feel free to comment below. For my review of The Jungle Book you can click here and for my review of Suicide Squad you can click here. Julien got your back like a chiropractor. l8rs