Trailer Trasher: “The Shallows” Jumps the Shark

The new trailer for the new shark thriller The Shallows starring a bikini-clad Blake Lively hit the internet today and it falls a little closer to Sharknado than Jaws.

It starts out fairly strong with shots of Nancy (Blake Lively) surfing in a place she describes as “taking forever to find, but perfect”. Sure, there are a couple of creepers that want her attention, but otherwise, this does indeed look like the picture of paradise.

But we all know it’s not paradise, and the trailer makers know we know. Using some creative editing they create a slow build up here for the first shark attack that is reminiscent of Jaws. The best example is the moment where you get a point-of-view shot approaching Lively’s surfboard and just when think the shark is about to chomp down on her… it cuts to her chomping down on an apple.

Even the scene where Lively finally gets attacked helps build the suspense because while we see her struggle and her eventual wounds, we don’t see the shark.

And then we see the shark…

Shark Attack Scene from The Shallows

…in all it’s CGI silliness. At least he took care of the creepers. If this is the only silly appearance of the shark in The Shallows it’s forgivable and probably even necessary, but why include this particular scene in the trailer? The GoPro wearing surfer being dragged under, the fins sticking out of the water, the overhead shot of the shark circling all while Lively is trapped hundreds of yards off shore would have and should have been enough to create the suspense this trailer is trying to build.

What made Jaws so brilliant (at least partially thanks to a faulty mechanical shark) was it proved what Steven Spielberg himself said that, “it’s what we don’t see which is truly frightening.” If Jaws would have featured the cross-eyed mechanical shark, the movie would have been laughable. It’s a lesson this trailer seemed to be following until it wasn’t.

The tagline for this movie is “not just another day at the beach” and even though the trailer started out well by the end it sure feels like just another killer shark movie with nothing original to speak of… not even a tornado.

The Shallows opens June 29th.

Justin Chechourka
Justin Chechourka
By day, I am the Multimedia Manager for a major infrastructure project. By night, I am a sports loving, pop culture addicted, craft beer swirling, technology enhanced father of 3 small super heroes. I was a TV news producer for nearly 15 years, but I have a passion for writing. It’s a passion that is only matched by what my wife calls my uncanny ability to maintain a brain full of (mostly useless) facts about sports, beer and comic book-based movies & TV.