THE SHALLOWS — Review by Susan Granger

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Still grieving over the death of her mother, Nancy (Blake Lively) is a medical school drop-out who decides to pay an homage visit and surf on her mother’s favorite Mexican beach: a remote, jungle-enshrouded crescent-shaped cove that’s almost totally deserted. After making a few phone calls to check-in with her dad and younger sister in Galveston, Texas, Nancy zips on the top of her wetsuit, tethers her foot to her surfboard and wades into the waves. Read on…

A strong swimmer, Nancy soon catches up with two Spanish-speaking dudes who are also enjoying the exhilarating surf; one is wearing a GoPro camera on his head.

After a while, Nancy returns to the beach to munch a late lunch she’d stored in her backpack and then decides to return to the clear, turquoise-blue lagoon for one last run, just as the guys head home.

That’s when an enormous shark surfaces. It’s a Great White that’s been lured close to shore, chomping on the carcass of a dead blue whale. With Nancy now in his feeding grounds, he bites her thigh.

Shark facts: Because sharks don’t have hands or tentacles, they explore with their mouths and teeth – and surfers are particularly vulnerable, far more than swimmers, because they paddle further from shore, dangling their limbs the water.

To escape the encircling fin, ever-resourceful Nancy, whose leg is bleeding profusely, crawls up on a jagged rock about 200 yards off-shore – with only a wounded seagull for company. It’s low tide, so she’s safe – temporarily. When the tide reverses, the sea will engulf her precarious perch.

Scripted by Anthony Jaswinski, scored by composer Marco Baltrami, and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (“Unknown,” “Non-Stop”), it’s a tension-packed survival thriller – with terrific underwater shots as Australia subs for Mexico.

Statuesque Blake Lively (TV’s “Gossip Girl”), who did 75% of her own stunts, darts about wearing a teeny-weenie bikini – until, unfortunately, the denouement falls flat.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Shallows” is a scary, suspenseful 6, causing a feeding frenzy at the box-office.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.