Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Phil's Halloween Horror Watch: THE SHALLOWS (2016) from Sony Pictures - October 1, 2016

Starring: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Bret Cullen, Angelo Josue Lorano, Sedona Legge, Janelle Bailey, Pablo Calva
Written by Anthony Jaswinski
Cinematography by Flavio Martinez Labiano
Edited by Joel Negron
Produced by Jaume Collet-Serra, Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem, Douglas C. Merrifield
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Released by Sony Pictures

Hello again everybody and welcome back to my annual Phil's Halloween Horror Watch, where I'll be watching nothing but horror movies for the entire month of October! This year, I thought it would be interesting to focus on films that were released within the last couple of years. As some of you know, I'm a huge advocate and supporter for independent films, especially within the horror genre. But every now and then, Hollywood releases a film that really captures my attention. So for tonight's inaugural entry, let me present to you THE SHALLOWS, which was released to theaters this past June 24th.

The film's official synopsis: When Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards away from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness and fortitude.

Ever since the release of Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic JAWS, there have been a plethora of shark films (JAWS 2-3, SHARK NIGHT 3D, SHARK ISLAND) well as knockoffs (ORCA, PIRANHA) but this movie caught me by surprise. Not only was it entertaining, but it had character development, a good story, great acting as well as great directing.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2016)
Credit goes to the lovey Lively, who carries the entire film on her shoulders and pulls it off amazingly! Her acting is fantastic and because of this, we the audience become emotionally invested in her character. We like her from the very beginning and we want her to survive. We want her to live. We want her to defeat her aquatic adversary; the great white shark who ruined her special trip to the secluded beach that her mom visited long before she passed. Lively brings strengths, determination and depth to her character Nancy and I applaud her incredible performance!

I would also like to acknowledge the acting skills of Sully Seagull, who portrayed Nancy's companion Steven Seagall. Get it? I thought it was pretty damn funny!! But the again I have a weird sense of humor. Moving on now...

It's difficult to set a story or film on only one location, but do it right and people will forget that detail. Screenwriter Joel Negron crafted one helluva script that has a great story arc, perfect beats and plenty of tension and thrills. Combine this with filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra's directing and it's a win-win situation. Using both real world location, CGI and studio sets, Serra does the impossible by making the movie lean, mean and frightening cool! And it all takes place at one location! Impressive indeed people!

THE SHALLOWS is one of the best horror films of 2016!! This sleeper of a gem will surely make you afraid of the water all over again! So for make sure you watch this film this Halloween!! Just as long as you don't live on a boathouse or something. 4 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

THE SHALLOWS is still playing in select theaters across the country. The movie is also available on Blu-Ray and DVD. It is also available on iTunes, Video On Demand, Netflix and Redbox.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the screaming!

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