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The Great White shark is the main antagonist of the 2016 survival horror thriller film The Shallows. This shark is shown targeting mainly Nancy Adams, a medical student on vacation in Mexico, but also targets anyone who wandered into its territory.
HistoryDuring Nancy's surfing vacation in Mexico, she spotted a large dead humpback whale twenty yards away, while she is waiting to catch the next wave. The whale is shown to have a couple chunks of flesh bitten off of it, indicating that the shark had been feeding on it's corpse for a while. As Nancy finally catches the last wave back to the beach, the shark intercepted her from beneath and knocks her off her board, where it then bit Nancy's leg and pulled her under. Nancy managed to climb onto the whale carcass, but the shark rams it from underneath, forcing her to swim to an isolated rock for safety. Though low for the moment, the shark bides its time until the tide is high enough for it to catch its next potential prey.
The next morning, a local drunken man becomes the shark's next victim when he tried to steal Nancy's surfboard, only to be ripped in half. Later, the two locals that Nancy had surfed with the day before came back to ride some waves, only to be killed despite her attempt to warn them. Looking throught the video on one of the locals' GoPro camera, Nancy notice the shark has a hook in its jaws from its previous encounter with some people.
As high tide approaches, the shark circles back and forth between the rock Nancy's on and the dead whale, waiting for the former to make a move. The shark went after Nancy again, but is forced to back off when they both got stung by a group of jellyfish, only for her to swim for a nearby bouy. It makes another attack on Nancy, but she uses a flare gun to set it on fire due to the oil from the whale blubber. In a final attempt on Nancy's life, the shark viciously rip the bouy apart, dislodging the hook in the process, and ripping out the chains securing it. Nancy grabs onto one of the chains and is pulled under towards the sea floor, prompting the shark to chase her at high speed. At the last moment, Nancy managed to let go and pulls out of the dive before she can hit the sea floor, but the shark continues to dive and ends up impaled on some rebars on the bouy's concrete anchor.
Behavior and Traits
The great white shark in the film is shown to be abnormally big and very aggressive. At first, the shark constantly attack Nancy, because she inadvertently stumbled on its feeding ground, which explains the whale carcass. Later, it began targeting anyone who enter the water; from the drunken man that was stealing Nancy's personal belongings, to the two local she surfed with the day earlier. But when Nancy is examining the video on the GoPro camera belonging to one of the locals, she discovered the shark has a hook lodged close to its jaws. From this evidence, she deduced that the shark's aggression was the result of its prior run-in with people, presumably some fishermen. Its priority to catch and eat Nancy would've also contribute to its downfall, as its focus on Nancy during their final confrontation that resulted in their chase towards the sea floor ended with its death.