Tom Humberstone


horror week - day 3

The Shallows (2016)

"I'm not dying here."

Quick summary: Blake Lively, in an attempt to get over the death of her mother, goes surfing in a secluded beach in Mexico. But there's only a bloody shark there! After being attacked, she finds safety on some nearby rocks which will soon be submerged at high tide...

A fun, solid b-movie. The camera is pretty pervy though and seems intent on having Lively fight the shark in a bikini. Still, the tension is well crafted and the short run-time means it doesn't outstay its welcome.

After seeing the synopsis I thought it might be a little bit like Tremors in the water (though Tremors was essentially Jaws on land, so I guess I was just expecting Jaws?). It's more a survival thriller along the lines of Black Water or even Open Water127 Hours feels like an influence too.

I liked that the final act takes place on a buoy - I'm assuming the association with the opening five minutes of Jaws was intentional there.

"Steven Seagull" was a great addition.

The dialogue was pretty poor with a lot of "hey sis!" expository clunkiness. This sort of b-movie doesn't need much character growth anyway. There were some interesting techniques used to show smart phone use - though I have to say it started to get a bit obnoxious.

I also watched:

The Bay (2012)

"I mean, look at that - that's entirely made of chicken shit."

Quick summary: A fake found footage documentary about what happened at a seaside town in Maryland that the Government tried to keep silent.

Hello found footage my old friend. In fairness, this is an after-the-fact documentary using existing footage so it feels fresher than the usual found footage fare. I guess the closest comparison is Lake Mungo.

The main narrator and protagonist is Kether Donohue - who will be familiar to You're The Worst fans as Lindsay! Great to see her in something else.

This is directed by Barry Levinson - the guy behind Tootsie, Wag The Dog, and Rain Man (he also helped produce TV shows like Homicide and Oz). Interesting to see a horror film from him. Apparently he was approached to direct a straight documentary about the environmental impact of dumping waste in the sea. He thought most people knew the basic facts already and that the best way to make an impact would be to heighten everything into a horror film. In that sense I guess this would be my second Eco Horror of the week after The Last Winter.

Enjoyed this. Felt myself getting increasingly itchy as the film went on.

Those bloody corrupt New England seaside mayors... "Amity, as you know, means friendship".

Tonight: Anthology horror night with Southbound (2015) and Trick 'r Treat (2007).

Check out the archive of the horror week here.