Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water-- I had to watch The Shallows. This 2016 thriller produced by Sony and written by Anthony Jaswinski stars: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue and Lozano Corzo and a seagull named Sully (seriously the bird has screen time and a name).
Thank you, Blake Lively and Jaume Collet-Serra, for reminding me of my childhood gut clenching fear of the ocean. A phobia that I created after I snuck in and watched a VHS version of Jaws for the first time with my older sister-- one that took me years to get over. Collet-Serra who directed the film known for directing the psychological thriller Orphan and action thrillers Unknown, Non-Stop, and Run All Night was aiming for people like me.
If you count Jaws as one of the cult classic's of your youth, the movie that made you afraid to swim in an empty ocean (possibly even a dark swimming pool), then, The Shallows will not disappoint. The setting of the story, according to the film, is a secret beach in Mexico. A gorgeous strip of beach that makes you want to jump on a plane and go there tomorrow. That is before the plot turns deadly. The actual location, however, is not Mexico, but gorgeous Queensland Australia. This makes me quite happy, since I'm traveling to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Mexico, next month to relax and do some scuba diving. But, I think maybe scuba diving is overrated--a good book on the beach with a tropical drink in my hand sounds safer.
My advice-- watch the film now--in the Fall and winter. Not before summer comes around or before you have a surfing or diving vacation planned. Seriously, I'm not sure I'll be able to get it out of my head. I blame this on my childhood Jaws trauma, and the music from Jaws, which plays in my head when I'm underwater. Yes, you can click here to listen...tell me it doesn't raise your heartbeat....
My rating: A great date movie, expect a lot of eyes squinted shut, hand clenching and racing heart beat. Is it worthy of an academy award? No, probably not, but 40 years ago, Jaws was nominated for best picture in 1976. Entertaining. Available on Amazon, Redbox (PG-13). Watch the trailer here.