Shark Night 3D (2011) – Movie Review
I went to this movie having heard absolutely no positives about it whatsoever. Also having no knowledge of the plot, which one may argue is implicit in the title of the film, and it kind of is. I was however pleasantly surprised by this little gem of a film. Now when I say gem let me qualify what I mean. This will not win any Academy awards, but for the genre, comparing it to similar animal attack horror films such as Piranha, Rogue, The Reef, Deep Blue Sea, and even Jaws it stands up and in fact overshadows many of them.
Without spoiling too much this is not simply a college students going wild and get chewed over by a bunch of sharks film. It is more than that. There is a plot that has historical drama, a good setting, great motivation of characters and true bad guys. In fact the sharks in Shark Night are a secondary character, a prop to carry out what is ostensibly a revenge thriller/horror film. To this end they do a good job.
The cast also was pretty good. Starring Sara Paxton, who seems to be the perennial damsel in distress in this, the excellent remake of Last House on the Left and the upcoming Innkeepers. She plays the role beautifully, as the country girl, innocent and sweet, she sells victim perfectly. She is well supported by Joel David Moore, from Bones, the television series and Katie Perry’s waking up in Vegas film clip and by Donal Logue, most recently from House, but also playing roles in Blade and Ghost Rider.
While this film is incredible predictable in parts, there were still some legitimate elements of surprise and I found myself jumping out of my seat at times. I was very impressed by the way that the action sequences were shot, the filming and effects of the sharks was extremely good and has come a long way since the days of Jaws. The fact that the film was in 3D did little for the overall feel, the sharks looked good in the 3D format, but I think it would have been as good, if not better had it been shot without the third dimension.
The film lacked in tension, probably due to the fact that the viewer could see who would live and who would die from almost the beginning of the story. I think throwing a spanner in and killing someone off unexpectedly may have helped the film overall. Still I enjoyed it as I took it for what it was, a fun shark film that was never going to be an award winner. It is no Jaws, but I think out of those genre films it comes a good second, maybe just beating Piranha to the finishing line, but only just.
Seen Shark Night 3D? How do you think it compares to other monster flicks of its ilk – Jaws, Frankenfish, Piranha, Megladon, Rogue for example? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!
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