Blake Lively takes a dive into the thriller genre with her latest role in The Shallows. The movie, in theaters June 24, features Lively as a young woman named Nancy whose surfing vacation goes horribly wrong when she encounters a shark. That description alone may be enough to give you shivers, but just how scary is The Shallows ? After all, portrayals of sharks in movies can vary widely; there's a big difference between Bruce in Finding Nemo and the shark in Jaws.
Personally, I find just the very idea of a shark attack to be utterly terrifying. And please don't tell me, "Oh, you're actually way more likely to die in a car crash than you are in a shark attack!" Yes, but I also ride in a car nearly every day, whereas I swim in the ocean maybe a few times per summer if I'm lucky. So don't try to use manipulative statistics to assuage my irrational fear. Instead, take a lesson from the makers of The Shallows, who have found the perfect formula to pander to theatergoers' shark paranoia (and to make it profitable). Take a look through the clips that have been released so far to see some aspects of The Shallows that make the film extra terrifying.
Lively's Character Is On Vacation
Nancy is at the beach for a highly-anticipated tropical getaway, which increases the shock factor when things take a terrifying turn.
There's Some Intense Foreshadowing
The man who drives Nancy to the secret beach asks "How are you getting out of here?" and she doesn't have a concrete answer. He then cautions her to be careful, to which she responds, "Always."
We Don't See The Shark At First
The shark first appears only as a dark mass, hinting at an insidious presence just out of view.
The Backdrop Is Picturesque
The tension builds as Lively continues to surf and swim and move around in the water, unaware of the danger lurking just beneath the surface. The natural beauty of the water and the beach provide an eerie contrast for the horror and violence of the shark attack.
Nancy Is Alone
After the shark seizes the other surfers, Nancy is stranded by herself. If there's anything scarier than having to face off with a shark, it's having to do it one-on-one.
As you can see, it's not just the shark itself that makes the movie so scary. The combination of plot, location, cinematography, and gradual buildup all combine to create a feeling of dread that hovers and then explodes. It may not be the best movie if you're squeamish, but The Shallows will definitely satisfy thriller fans' thirst for horror and suspense.
Image: Columbia Pictures