The Shallows

Having recently lost her mother to cancer, Nancy decides to drop out of medical school in order to go surfing at a remote Mexican beach where her mother used to surf. Unfortunately, Nancy’s “plus one” decides she’d rather hang out with the guy she met at the hotel bar, so Nancy makes the stupid decision to go by herself. What could go wrong?

The buzz about this movie was pretty strong, and I went into it with somewhat high expectations, which ended up being a big mistake. While not a bad movie, per se, the choices our heroine makes in the first act of the film had me wondering what medical school would admit someone who shows such very poor decision-making skills when she willingly chooses to go surfing by herself in the middle of nowhere without a way to get back to civilization. Seriously? That’s just scratching the surface of the “are you kidding me” moments—wait until you see the climax! its shallow screenplay—pun intended—you couldn’t ask for a better-looking 4K presentation. The principle photography was shot at 3.4K and then down-rezed to 2K for its theatrical run. Despite all the various video-processing steps on its journey to home video, the UHD presentation shines from beginning to end. Nancy begins her trip to the beach by being driven through the jungle, and the sunlight beaming through the luscious green foliage is a sight to behold. There’s copious detail in the bark, and the bright highlights bursting through the dense overhead foliage is very lifelike. The wide color gamut definitely comes into play with rich blues and deep greens, and the HDR effects of the bright sun and lowlight nighttime shots are jaw-dropping.

Not to be outshined is the reference-quality Dolby Atmos track that will surely be used to demo how enveloping object audio tracks can be. Imaging is prob- ably the highlight of the show, as you can hear—and feel—the surf move from one side of the room to the other with the waves crashing from above as well. Fur- thermore, the overhead effects are used effectively in providing suitable ambience for the beach environment with the sounds of crashing waves and the chirps from a flock of seagulls who view the proceedings from above.

The sparse supplements are housed on the Blu-ray that comes in the retail packag- ing and include three deleted scenes, four featurettes, previews of other Sony titles, and a UV Digital Copy.

Studio: Sony, 2016
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio Format: Dolby Atmos / TrueHD 7.1 core
Length: 86 mins.
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen