Max and Dylan Watch THE SHALLOWS and Debate Proper Shark-Killing Tactics

Lori’s nine-year-old son, Dylan, fucking loves Jaws. The dude hums the theme song as he sits on the toilet. He pretends our dumb fat dachshund is a shark whenever he’s prowling through the house searching for dropped food. He obsesses over Let’s Play YouTube videos of Jaws/Minecraft mashup games. So yeah. Obviously he was pumped the moment he caught a trailer for The Shallows—or, as he calls it, The New Jaws Movie. We made multiple efforts to see it in the theaters during the stretch it played, but life kept getting in the way and we missed it each time (although, we did manage to see that fucking Goosebumps movie twice on the big screen during this same period, as our theater played it for $1 every day one week as some kind of torturous summer vacation promo). But hey. That’s why God invented Redbox, right?

After the movie finished, I poured a cup of coffee for myself and a glass of chocolate milk for the boy, and we discussed The Shallows. We may have had different opinions about its merit.

MAX: So, what did you think about the movie?

DYLAN: It was great. Jaws ate a lot of people.

MAX: Eating people is cool, huh?

DYLAN: Oh yeah. But the girl was on the rock and Jaws couldn’t eat her.

MAX: If you were Jaws, how would you have gotten the girl?

DYLAN: I would just move my tail fast and jump up onto the rock.

MAX: Can sharks jump?

DYLAN: Yes. He jumped a lot in the movie.

MAX: Do you think sharks can really jump like that?

DYLAN: Yes. That was a real shark.

MAX: Well, it was a CGI shark. But it look pretty real. Probably one of the best CGI sharks I’ve seen. But those jumps were kind of goofy and dumb.

DYLAN: Max, it was not dumb.

MAX: Remember the first Jaws movie? Wasn’t it scarier when the shark stayed in the water and you couldn’t see him?

DYLAN: Sharks jump all the time, Max.

MAX: What did you think about the seagull she became friends with?

DYLAN: It was nice that she helped him get better.

MAX: I thought it was kind of stupid.

DYLAN: That’s not nice.

MAX: What was its point, you know? I thought maybe she was going to train it to kill sharks, and that would have been ridiculous, but at least it would have had a payoff. But no. She bonds with the bird and then…well, nothing. That’s called unnecessary film-padding, because the writers couldn’t think of what else to include.

DYLAN: Max, that’s rude. The bird was nice.

MAX: You know what I really hated?

DYLAN: No. Don’t hate things. That’s mean.

MAX: Every time the girl talked to herself to let the audience know what she was thinking, I wanted to throw the TV out the window.

DYLAN: Max, do not throw the TV out the window.

MAX: Okay, I won’t. What else did you like about the movie?

DYLAN: Jaws does not like jellyfish, and I do not as well. Jaws and I are the same sometimes. But I do not like to eat people.

MAX: I thought you did.

DYLAN: Max! No! I like to eat grilled cheese sandwiches with lots of ranch. With fries, too. Jaws also likes fries and ranch, but he likes blood, too. I think he likes Coke like me. But I do not like blood. Only Jaws likes blood. And vampires. Jaws and vampires like blood.

MAX: Maybe Jaws is a vampire?

DYLAN: Jaws is not a vampire because he has a fin and a tail. And Jaws can swim and vampires can’t swim.

MAX: I have to ask you something. Let’s say you were the person on that rock. How would you have killed the shark?

DYLAN: I would have stabbed him a whole bunch.

MAX: What if you didn’t have a knife?

DYLAN: I would punch him with my fists. KA-POW! Take that, Jaws! Ooof!

MAX: You think you’re that strong?

DYLAN: No. Maybe I would just shoot him. BLAM!

MAX: What if you didn’t have a gun?

DYLAN: I always have a gun.

MAX: Oh. Is there anything you didn’t like about the movie?

DYLAN: I did not like the beginning because the two swimmers left her and couldn’t hear her shout “COME BACK!” They were stupid. I did not like how long it took for Jaws to come. Jaws should have been in the movie right away.

MAX: What if Jaws was the good guy all this time, and the girl was the bad guy?

DYLAN: Jaws could eat her.

MAX: Would he eat her with ranch?

DYLAN: Yes. Loads of ranch. A thousand ranches.

MAX: Then what would he do, now that the girl was eaten?

DYLAN: Go back to his home. Under the water.

MAX: What kind of home does Jaws have?

DYLAN: An ocean home. Where his Jaws family lives. He has a couch, a TV, a bedroom, some toys.

MAX: How does he connect to cable with his TV if he’s under water?

DYLAN: He goes through the TV.

MAX: He goes through it?

DYLAN: Yes. It’s a magic TV.

MAX: What does he watch on the TV?

DYLAN: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Then Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

MAX: He doesn’t watch Jaws?

DYLAN: No. That would be stupid.

MAX: Okay, any final thoughts?

DYLAN: You should watch this movie if you get scared of sharks.


This review originally appeared in Dark Moon Digest Issue #25.

Max Booth III is the author of several novels, the Editor-in-Chief of Perpetual Motion Machine, and the Managing Editor of Dark Moon Digest. He is the host of Castle Rock Radio. Raised in Northern Indiana, he now lives in Central Texas. Follow him on Twitter @GiveMeYourTeeth and visit him at