Shark Night 3D Reviews
"Terror runs deep."
Shark Night wants to be a movie like Piranha. It wants to be a fun, exciting, and humorous blood feast, but it makes a huge mistake in going PG-13. Movies like this have to be rated R. Piranha was a success because it had tons of gore and tons of boobs. That's what the genre is made of. This went light on everything. The gore was lackluster and the boobs weren't there at all. So now in order to be a decent movie it has to actually be inventive and original in a way that this genre just can't be anymore; and it wasn't. The movie was stupid in ways you'd expect and in other ways that are surprising. It isn't humorous, you'll laugh at it, not with it. All in all, it is one of the worst movies you'll see in the killer fish genre.
Obviously movies like this aren't trying to be the next Jaws because it just isn't possible. They need to be fun in different ways in order to succeed and Shark Night just wasn't able to do that. It was lifeless and at times just plain boring. The kills were terrible and the sharks looked just as bad. The filmmakers also went to great lengths to have stuff jump at you because everything has to be in 3D. There was a lot of fast motion scenes. We can see what they were going for; a fast paced, blood soaked extravaganza. Too bad what we were given was 80 minutes of boredom and cliches.
Killer fish movies need to look at Piranha and see what it did. The makers of that knew they weren't making a great movie, but they also knew how to make it appeal to fans of the genre. Here they lost sight of that and sinfully thought they were doing something cool. Were they ever wrong.
It's spring break on the Bayou, and seven friends are heading out to Sara Palski's (Sara Paxton) family house on the lake. Nick (Dustin Milligan) has a full course load as a pre-Med major, so he's looking to relax and finally make a move with his crush on Sara. Along for the ride are geeky Gordon (Joel David Moore), future NFL first-round pick Malik (Sinqua Walls), his girlfriend Maya (Alyssa Diaz), the rebellious party girl Beth (Katherine McPhee), and her ex-boyfriend, the self-absorbed Blake (Chris Zylka). Their revelry is interrupted when they discover that the lake is filled with all kinds of sharks. A group of menacing local rednecks terrorizes the gang and plan to feed them to the sharks.
What this movie reminds me of are the watered down soft-core "comedies" that used to grace the late night airwaves on the cable channel USA. Somebody had the bright idea to take movies that were primarily made to titillate with casual T&A; when you strip away those base exploitation elements, which in this case was sex and nudity, then you're left with 90 minutes of strained filler and really flat jokes. That's what Shark Night 3D (in non-3D) feels like. Ignoring the fact that Paxton (Last House on the Left) runs around in a bikini for 90 percent of the movie, the film is lacking guts of all kinds. The closest you'll get to skin is some brief side boob from American Idol alum, and quizzically ever-present actress, Katherine McPhee (The House Bunny). I want to state for the record that giving McPhee a nose stud and some lower back tattoos is the unconvincing PG-13 translation of making her into a "bad girl." I wouldn't be as miffed about the omission of the exploitation elements if the movie presented a compelling story or some well-orchestrated suspense sequences. It presents itself as an exploitation film, replete with plenty of underwater POV shots of bikini bottoms but it pulls back at every opportunity, cruelly teasing the audience with the promise of something better, but better never comes.
Its ideas of suspense revolve around lame jump scares and quickly resolved sequences where characters are picked off by the sharks. The movie sets up a dramatic scenario and doesn't waste much time. Characters get picked off with mordant efficiency, and yet there's no pizazz to these deaths, no memorable or gruesome moments. Hope you like seeing people pulled under red water. Unlike Deep Blue Sea, an enjoyable campy outing, these sharks are just regular sharks and yet they behave like genetically engineered killing machines, leaping out of the water to snatch prey at high altitudes. They even know how to break an onboard motor, which sounds like the work of a shark suicide bomber. There's never really a great explanation for why the sharks are even doing in a lake. Granted, it's stated to be a salt water lake and spillovers from high waters have been known to deposit oceanic creatures inland, but then the dumb redneck characters take credit for the shark attacks. They say they put them in the lake. I don't believe this for a second, nor do I believe that these goons are secretly clever when it comes to advanced technology. Their whole scheme, which includes one of them philosophizing about "moral relativism," is completely unbelievable, as well as their crazy get rich quick scheme.
If you're not going to deliver the goods, at least don't pretend that your sharks-eat-college-kids horror movie is some serious work of art. Sadly, the thing that can save any low-rent horror movie, a sense of humor, is noticeably absent with Shark Night 3D. It goes all the way in the other direction, trying to churn serious drama out of ridiculous situations. Characters are prone to delivering long monologues that let us know how scared they are or of some past trauma. Sara is haunted by a drowning scare that put an irreconcilable rift between her and her ex-boyfriend, who happens to be one of the sinister rednecks. The stupid melodrama in this movie is played completely poker-faced serious. When one male character loudly bellows that his girlfriend, who died via shark, was the most important thing in his world, it's something of a head-scratcher. Before this lady fell victim to nefarious shark attack, we knew next to nothing about her beyond superficial descriptions, namely her race and her designation as "girlfriend." We don't even see anything of this so-called relationship, so when the feeding frenzy starts and the characters start getting picked off, the wails of drama are comically misplaced. When that character tries to go back into the water to attain vengeance against the animal that took his woman ("They took one of ours, now I'm gonna take one of theirs"), it feels absurd and hilarious. The movie hasn't even done a credible job to make us believe the significance of the character relationships.
The screenplay by Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg relies on stock roles almost to a degree of self-parody (the athlete, the smart wet blanket, the doofus, the virginal girl next door, the vampy girl - hey Cabin in the Woods, I got your lineup right here). You would think given the scenario of shark-infested waters, all you had to do was remain on land. The old chestnut about cell phone signals is here again, but I refuse to believe that Sara's family house does not have a landline phone. I thought maybe for one shining moment Shark Night 3D would move into an unexpected direction, and then it didn't. After our first shark victim struggles to pull through, our med student Nick takes charge. I thought it would have been great during this moment, when we fully expect Nick to be indispensible given his medical knowledge, that he gets eaten by a shark. Alas, my dreams of convention upheaval were not to be met. If you can't predict every twist and turn the movie makes, including the heroic sacrifice and the "twist" betrayal, then you haven't lived long enough to move on from the kiddie pool.
Shark Night 3D is a schlocky, tiresome, neutered exploitation film missing the elements that make exploitation films worth watching. After a while, it just becomes exasperating. This movie is 90 minutes of being lead around without a payoff. It wants to be a fun, campy movie, but then why does it take itself so seriously and lack the slightest sense of humor? It wants to be considered amongst exploitation horror movies, with nubile teens being stalked in their bikini bottoms below the murky depths, but then why does the movie pull back at every opportunity for sex and gore? Shark Night 3D is a movie that will appeal to no one. If you want thrills and chills, you'll be disappointed. If you want T&A, you'll be disappointed. If you want some good shark action, you'll be disappointed. If you want a workable story and characters worth rooting for, you'll be disappointed. If you love sharks, you'll be disappointed, which is a real disappointment. The only people who won't be disappointed will be the people who grew up on those late-night USA cut-for-TV soft core flicks. To those few people in their bubbles of ignorance, Shark Night 3D might be the best movie they've ever seen.
Nate's Grade: D
A group of college kids visits the lakeside home of a friend in order to celebrate and have some fun. Menacing locals are a quickly forgotten problem when a shark attacks one of them and they're forced to try to find some way to get help.
Shark Night isn't a terrible movie. It's just nothing remarkable. Almost a "tv movie of the week" version of a shark attack movie. The story starts of as forced and stale, before taking a turn for the utterly ridiculous.
The gore is toned down and the titillation is PG-13 at most (as is the movie rating). This isn't exactly the movie to seek out if you're looking for gore. It's just a few B-level actors and actresses getting munched on by fake-looking sharks (and mostly off-camera or obscured by water). There's one squirm-inducing death that's worth seeing, but it's over way too quickly and nothing that follows matches it.
The characters are so stereotypically written that it must have been done on purpose. You've got the shy, handsome nerd who's inexperienced with women, the annoying sidekick, the self-obsessed dumb guy, the tough-talking dude with a promising football future and a rough past in the hood, the slutty girl, and the all-American sweet love interest with "dark secrets" in her past that come back to haunt her. Oh, and a couple of the most over-the-top (and strangely knowledgeable) redneck characters I've ever seen. They all get way more screen-time than the sharks, which doesn't really make sense in a movie called "Shark Night".
Like I said, this isn't an awful movie. It just doesn't do much to justify its own existence. There's no real tension or menace to be had, here. It won't scare you like Jaws, and it won't entertain you while making you wince like the recent Piranha remake. Watch it if you're really bored (like I did), but this isn't a "must see" by any definition of the phrase. I have to admit, though, that Sara Paxton looks unbelievable in a bikini. Sign me up for some more of that, but keep the rest.
A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to shark attacks.
Seven students go to spend a holiday on the luxury holiday home of one of the girls: it sits on its own island in the Florida everglades. And they are having a lovely time when the first shark attack comes. This film is essentially someone stalking the dorm wiping out students one by one, except it is sharks not slashers, and the students are all in their bathers. There is a completely preposterous plot development halfway through, then another even more preposterous plot development building on the first one, and an utterly idiotic final shot. The cast are all unknown and, regrettably, this movie is unlikely to change that for any of them. Much of the shark antics are ripped bodily from Jaws. This is the sort of movie which used to be made for the direct-to-video market, pumped up by 3D. On the plus side, it is pretty to look at with attractive scenery, the girls look nice in bikinis, there are six-packs on view for the ladies, the 3D is sometimes effective, and CGI sharks have come on a long way. And there is a shot halfway through featuring a shark and a jetski which made me laugh out loud (it wasn't meant to, I don't think).
So think 'Deep Blue Sea' but set in the American south in a lake and you have this really quite bad and pointless 'horror' film. Obviously there is ZERO originality here what so ever and chock full of all your pointless boring cliched characters and storylines involving young dumb pretty teens simply used as shark bait.
Utterly stupid plot involving some hicks putting the sharks in the lake to feed people too whilst filming so they can sell online, where did they get all the sharks!?. The effects are poor and clearly cgi, its too dark and frantic in places and for a shark attack flick there isn't much blood or gore so don't get your hopes up, end of the day this is just a poor waste of time film venture.
So, I am going to tell you a short and not all that interesting story. It was my birthday. My friends and I gathered to celebrate with food and a lot of alcohol. Long story short, I got into an argument with a friend who was being stupid, and the night was almost ruined for me. Nevertheless, that friend left, and the remaining group stumbled out of the tavern, wanting to do something silly. We walked by the theatre and saw the poster for Shark Night. Unanimously agreeing, we bought tickets and throughout the whole movie, we were laughing, making comments, counting the amount of walkouts, and you know what, the film provided us with an hour and a half of solid entertainment. It took my mind off the argument. I laughed at the entire movie, the dialogue, and my more squeemish friends who jump at anything unexpected. In other words, I had a blast. Thank you, Shark Night 3D!