*“The Shallows” arrives in theaters this weekend and finds Blake Lively surfing on a secluded beach when she finds herself in the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only two hundred yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills. The film is “Survivor” meets “Jaws,” but co-star Óscar Jaenada tells EUR/Electronic Urban Report that the drama-thriller is “not a shark movie.”
“It’s a movie about decisions,” he said. “It’s a fight Blake has with her own fear. You have a shark in front of you, what would you do? It’s going to become a classic because Jaume Collet-Serra, the director, is huge in driving these situations, and I think it’s going to be a huge movie.”
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The Spanish actor has appeared in more than forty films since 1999, in both Spanish and English, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Cantinflas,” and a role in the recently announced film, “The Art of Living” alongside Edward James Olmos. In “The Shallows” he plays “the guy who shows her the secret beach, very few people know about it.”
“I’m the guy who takes her to that beach, and he has a surprise in the way he acts with Blake’s situation,” Oscar teased about his role.
The film from screenwriter Anthony Jaswinski and director Jaume Collet-Serra (“Non-Stop,” “Run All Night”) is the type of pure action that helps drive mainstream cinema. It’s a film about endurance and problem solving. The survival horror thriller has been compared to “Jaws.” The 1975 thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg is based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name, and has all the elements that make it timelessly terrifying. “The Shallows” embodies some of the same elements — which could make it a classic with the current generation.
There are also a few head-scratching moments that seem to play up or encourage the naivety and carelessness of many Millennials. It’s a cheap, lazy approach to the narrative, but easily forgivable by those a part of the growing collective of horror fans who enjoy suspense, enjoy being scared and enjoy scaring other humans.
The horror genre is as old as entertainment itself, so we asked Oscar what he believes are the ingredients for a great horror film.
“What a horror movie has to have is reality. As much reality as the horror movie has, that more believable it is for me,” Jaenada explained. “I need to have the sense that it’s real,” he said, adding: “I’m not a fan of horror films because I don’t like to be scared.”
“Each time I get on a plane, I have this fear. But no, I’ve never been in a situation as hard as this one,” Oscar said when asked if he has ever experienced a survival horror story. “When I saw the movie for the first time, I realized Blake could be anyone, and in a second your life changes. You think you’re spending such a good day with your surfboard on an amazing beach and suddenly everything changes.”
“The Shallows” is now playing nationwide.