Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Film Review: Shark Night 3D

Synopsis: A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to shark attacks.

My Thoughts: It's inevitable that any film about sharks will be compared to Jaws, and Jaws this ain't. I didn't go into Shark Night with anything resembling high, or even mediocre, expectations, but it fell short of even my smallest of hopes.

The story begins with "nerdy" pre-med student Nick, struggling to study while his "crazy" room mate plays video games. After giving in his studious pursuits to join the game they're joined by Malik, the jock being tutored by Nick. He comes terrorising into the room ranting about how he needed a C average in order to stay on the team, and Nick "the best tutor on campus" would pay if his football career went down the drain. Anyway, menace, menace, menace "Nah just kidding Brah, I got a B-" Yuk Yuk Yuk. As a reward for Nick's awesome tutorial skills he invites the two "nerds" (actually, that's unfair, one is at least pretty geeky) to spend the weekend at Sara's summer house on a lake in Louisiana.

The cast are the usual suspects in your typical teen slasher/mutilation horror. You have the nerdy guy who in actuality has a waxed chest and muscles almost as big as the jock.  Then there is his geeky, talkative sex-mad side-kick, the token minority guy who is in a relationship with the token minority girl (multiculturalism! Yay!), the sweet girl next door that the nerd is into but has a troubled past, the pretty boy and the "bad" girl (this one was getting a tattoo but set it up as if it was a one night stand . LFMAO!).

After arriving at the fancy summer house equipped with every mod-con except a phone, things quickly turn to shit when Malik is targeted by a shark while doing mad flips on a wakeboard. As he struggles to survive, minus one arm, the rest struggle to find away to get home. There are no phones, the boats aren't safe, nor are jet-skis, "friendly" rednecks, and there is no way off their secluded island retreat except through the water. The rest cycles through your typical formula, sweet girl's troubled past comes back to haunt them, a good guy is actually a bad guy, people die and a weak comment on modern society is explained obviously enough for a dog to understand.

The real problem with this film is that it tries to hard to have a story. I didn't come into this film to see everyone come out the other side better, wiser and stronger people. I wanted to see the obnoxious college students become shark food, and I wanted to see that done as gory and as perversely as possible. The film needed to cut out half the weak story-line and dialogue and introduce at least 20 new characters, even if their only role is to run into the water and straight into the shark's open mouth. Even though the lake is literally teeming with shark we only see one shark attack that isn't directly linked to the group of college kids we're following through the film. The film-makers seemed torn between delivering a balls to the wall gory and ridiculous attack flick (think Piranha 3D) and trying to create a horror story that had a coherent storyline and message. They failed abysmally in the storyline department, a 10 year old could probably do better, and only on occasion delivered decently obscene and 3D-worthy shark attacks. It needed to channel a little bit of Pirahna 3D, and the scene where dozens of college kids were obliterated in the most offensive and bloody ways possible was perfect for this style of film, but Shark Night was missing anything that came even close to hilarious and sickening.

I didn't walk into this film expecting the greatest horror film released this year, but I didn't walk out with the giddy feeling of watching a ridiculously fun teen horror romp either. Stack the unsatisfying lack of gore and insane shark attacks with the poor acting, atrocious storyline and pointless 3D and you've got a film not worth seeing.

1.5 out of 5 thrashing sharks.