Thursday, October 20, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016: The Shallows

2016, Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) -- download

OK, by this point, I have to admit that we have let Thriller leak into our viewing stream for this season. While there may be combo horror-thriller, many of the choices we have viewed have been pure thriller, without any thinly attempts at being a horror movie. Yes, the thin line between the two often ends up focused on the tone of the movie. Both have shocks and scares and intense moments, and it boils down to how the movie handles the characters, antagonist and protagonist. Usually a horror movie will focus only on the protagonist, where the antagonist is a mystery, an unknown.
Hush was definitely horror thriller, as it had lots of dark shadows, a mystery killer and was about the survival of the protagonist. The Ones Below was eerie with tense moments, a rather mysterious antagonist but was always in the open, very in your face as to why we were tense.

One could argue that The Shallows is a monster movie, just like Jaws was. In Jaws, there is no way we can accept that is a normal shark, as it seems to have malice, intent and incredible focus -- it is not just an eating machine. The shark that is harassing Nancy (Blake Lively) is of the same temperament. As a pair of his victims shout, "There are no sharks here!" so this guy is already out of his domain. And yet, there is no horror feel to this movie. This is pure thriller survival.

Maybe you cannot have horror on a bright, sunny surf?

It was good. But as you know, I like Small Movies.

Nancy is in med school, so the bite she gets can be taken care of. Still, she's bleeding and getting weak and is sitting on a rock for days without food & water. She's got a buddy, an injured seagull who hangs out on the same rock. She called him Stephen (#snicker) but I was referring to him as SharkBait. At least he wasn't a soccer ball.

When things really get going, this shark is just downright a monster! Seriously, he chomps and bites and rips apart everything without really wanting to eat it. The cast is small, so the body count is as well, but this is not about eating. Hell, he has a big stinky whale nearby so... why? Maybe I should re-think and sub-categorize this under Jaws. But no, this movie is not about replacing Roy Scheider with Blake Lively's bikini'd bum. This movie is it's own, more comparable to 127 Hours than anything.