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Shark Night 3D

2011-11-07 10:54
 
An unremarkable piece of schlock horror that sees hot young bodies being terrorised by a shark - in even less remarkable 3D.
What we thought:

A sexy summer weekend turns into a blood-soaked nightmare for a group of college students trapped on an island surrounded by voracious underwater predators.

What we thought:

You can sometimes tell when a young actor has potential to bump up to the big time in these movies. Mary Elizabeth Winstead did well in Final Destination 3, and we all know about Johnny Depp's (Nightmare on Elm Street) and Kevin Bacon's (Friday the 13th) early screen demises. The Last House on the Left wasn't likely to be the film that launched the pretty but mostly just pretty Sara Paxton. Shark Night 3D will probably not be either.

In the movie world, there certainly is a place for schlock. Risible as films like Snakes on a Plane, those Final Destinations, and even Piranha 3D may be on an artistic level, they're immensely enjoyable as throwaway fare - great for popcorn, coke and a wasted afternoon at the movies.

But it may be difficult for filmmakers to clearly determine what differentiates good schlock from bad schlock. For every one of the above titles there's a I Know What You Did Last Summer or a Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (no, really). And that's just sad.

Because Shark Night has the threads of what might have been a pretty decent piece of schlock fare, but for two failures:

The first is simple to explain: 3D. It was wholly unnecessary to couch this largely CG-driven animal in the hot format of the day. The sharks are not really major characters (despite the title), and while some of the underwater shots do look pretty, a great portion of them are of bubbly turbulence - which makes you feel like your eyes are trying to roll back into your head in seperate directions.

The second reason is creative. There's one HELL of a backstory written into this movie, which makes little to no sense whatsoever. Or, rather, it seems overly contrived and headscratchingly stupid, and laugh-out-loud unlikely.

That's a shame, because most of the cast know what film they're in. They're watchable in their "who's next to get chewed" roles. Director David R Ellis, seems a little out of his depth on this one. But that's probably because writers Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg were trying to write The Silence of The Sharks instead of Sharks on a Plane with Kids from The OC. Or whatever.

Wait. There is another obvious reason the film fails as schlock. A good trash flick needs gore, boobs or both. Shark Night does have several bikinis (why don't they change back into normal clothes once it gets dark?) but no boobs. (It has a guy's butt, but that doesn't really count, does it?) It has no actual gore of note, either. And most of the story happens during the day.

It does follow one horror/exploitation convention: the black guy does get it first.

Read more on:    review  |  horror  |  movies
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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Kamohelo Joseph Makhetha 11/8/2011 11:44 AM
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cool
Michelle 11/8/2011 1:23 PM
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I haven't watched this movie but at a time when sharks are being hunted and are on the endangered species list- this movie is just down right irresponsible. There should be a movie about how we are killing them! That is horror!
mainmanike 11/8/2011 2:01 PM
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Noooooooo!!!! Not the b]lack guy first.
Croxley 11/8/2011 3:54 PM
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Peter Benchley, whose novel 'Jaws' terrorised millions of swimmers even as the author himself became an advocate for the conservation of sharks, he saw the errors of his way. SAVE SHARKS!!!
Jillian 11/12/2011 10:23 AM
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Haha, excellently written review! So very true :-)
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