Once there was the movie Jaws, and then a series of crappy sequels followed. Most viewers assumed the era of the shark movie was fading out – well they are back and in 3D!
Hollywood has delved into movies about Anacondas, Piranhas, Snakes and even Ants but the Shark movie has proven the constant. This leads us to Shark Night 3D the lastest of the stringof animal attack movies to grace the big screen. Sadly it is another lackluster movie that does not get anywhere near Jaws. Shark Night is directed by David R. Ellis and stars the likes of Sara Paxton (Aquamarine, Superhero Movie), Dustin Milligan (Slither), Chris Carmack (Into the Blue 2) and the more familiar Joel David Moore (Avatar, Bones) and more. It is a story of a group of college kids who want to relax over the weekend at friend Sara’s (Paxton’s) lake house – more like a secluded island with a house on it. The weeked very quickly turns to a nightmare when it becomes apparent that there is a shark in the saltwater lake and its ready for the open college student buffet.
Now comes the downside of being on a secluded island while being taken out by sharks – phone service is abysmal and pretty much non-existant and only a few people know they are there. They are the Lake’s Sherriff Sabin (played by Donal Logue), the redneck pervert Red and his mysterious and scarred boss Dennis (Carmack). Dennis and Red from the first time they make themselves known show too much of an interest in the group of college kids, Dennis especially has his eyes on Sara and that will automatically have most viewers suspicious of him. Sherriff Sabin is set up as the silly and friendly Sherriff who adores Sara and her family but never let appearances fool you.
The acting, although not terrible, could have been a lot better and it seemed that every actor were overly melodramatic with their acting. Joel David Moore was the only one to give a convincing performance but even then there was more to be desired. They juggled between melodramatic and robotic acting and that translated to characters that an audience wouldn’t relate or grow attached to. Storyline and continuity was also a big problem for Shark Night 3D, the concept itself was relatively new but majority of the elements within the general plot were predictable and plain. Anyone who has seen Jaws will recognise a certain shark attack scene in the opening moments of Shark Night 3D and because of that the initial attack scene of the movie loses its impact. There were several other moments in Shark Night reminiscent of Jaws.
Elements of the story that were meant to be important fell short and in turn all of the connecting story line either made no sense or was unbelievable. A few characters go their whole time in the movie without a back story or any character development, the movie is about shark attacks but to enhance the fear factor I would have liked to know more about certain characters who had the potential to be interesting. Dustin Milligan’s character Nick was one of the only ones that had some depth to him, he was the typical unlikely hero that stepped up when no one else would.
Continuity was an aspect of the movie that obviously wasn’t looked at as closely, several moments of storyline that included the sharks seemed out of order in terms of the continuity. Character personalities bounced back and forth and only a few characters remained as the typical bad guys and others seemed bipolar in terms of personality. The audience can’t be sure throughout the majority of the movie which character to cheer for and which to hate, luckily the plot ensured that just past midway through that the identities of the villians is well known to the audience.
I will give props to the CGI and 3D effects for this movie as the Sharks looked realistic and enhanced the fear factor with the attacks (much better than an obviously robotic shark) and 3D ensured that those pivotal ‘jump’ moments hit the mark with audience feeling that the shark is coming to get you. These effects definitely could have been enhanced even more but they were still probably the best part of the movie by far.
Shark Night 3D isn’t in my opinion a must see, but if you are a fan of shark movies and meaningless near nudity then Shark Night 3D is your movie. The movie is a lame attempt at the modern Jaws and it doesn’t get anywhere near the fear factor of Jaws at all. It probably won’t scare you away from swimming in lakes and I don’t see it giving anyone nightmares (unless you are already afraid of sharks). Considering it comes from the makers of the Final Destination series I was expecting a lot better and I left the cinema pretty disappointed.
I would probably give it a 4.5/10 and I will hope that no one makes a sequel to it.