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Shark Night (2011)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Natural Horror, Sharks, 3-D
Director:
David R. Ellis David R. Ellis
Starring:
Sara Paxton Sara Paxton
Dustin Milligan Dustin Milligan
Chris Carmack Chris Carmack
Katharine McPhee Katharine McPhee
Joel David Moore Joel David Moore

4.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to fresh-water shark attacks. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: January 30, 2012
I freaking loved the Piranha remake. What is there not to love about a movie that goes out of its way to be over the top with its blood, gore, kills, nudity, monsters, and cameos? As a horror fan, I had an absolute blast when I saw that film in theaters - it knew that it was a silly movie, and it aimed to deliver as much fun as absolutely possible. I was hoping for more of the same from Shark Night, a film that seemed to want to emulate the formula that made Piranha so enjoyable. Unfortunately...

The story begins when Sara (Sara Paxton), an extremely attractive college girl with no significant other in her life, invites a bunch of her friends out to a remote island on the lake for a weekend of partying. She brings along her potential suitor Nick (Dustin Milligan) along with five other friends, and everything is going great for them... until, that is, a shark bites off somebody's arm. Wait, a shark in a lake? It's a saltwater lake, naturally! So, the group soon finds themselves stranded on the island after their only means off the island explodes, and with no cell phones, getting their buddy to the hospital is priority number one. I don't want to spoil the movie, but let's just say that some things happen that forces the people off the island and into the water.

Shark Night is a light-hearted horror film, a film that attempted to copy the Piranha formula... the only problem is that they wanted to copy the formula in a PG-13 movie. You know, a goofy horror movie without all of the gore, and the blood, and the boobs, and the raunchy jokes, and all of the other stuff one would look for in a movie that is trying to be intentionally goofy without actually treading into full-fledged "horror comedy" territory. To be fair, I was a little shocked at how much they got away in the blood and gore department considering the rating, but a full-fledged splatterfest it is not.

With all of the good stuff stripped away, what we are left with is a barely-plausible storyline being told in a mostly-serious fashion. Again, I don't want to spoil the movie for any potential viewers, but let's just say that "shark in the lake" will be the least of the believability issues when you pop this in. It's sort of like one of those hip, self-referential, "bad" b-movies that are becoming all the rage lately, only, without any of the things that make those movies so fun.

Aiding my displeasure was the CGI work on the sharks, as aside from one or two brief scenes, it just looks downright bad. Now, Piranha wasn't exactly full of cutting-edge technology either, but again, it all goes back to that "fun" thing: that movie was supposed to be goofy, so you could overlook that kind of thing. Here, the sharks were supposed to look realistic, so a failure in that department was a failure that hurt the movie even more.

Now, I can't rightfully say that I totally hated the movie. I didn't. There were a few neat kills that were totally over-the-top and showed what the movie could have been, and I have to give those scenes a big thumbs up. I also can't say anything negative about the cast - they were nothing special, granted, but everybody played their roles well. The storyline does move along at a nice clip and I can't say that I was ever downright bored, so no, the film wasn't a total disaster.

Unfortunately, those few bright spots were hurt by the watering down of the formula that made Piranha so good. If you watch a "bad" b-movie, you want to shut off your brain for a while, watch some people get eaten by killer animals, see some body parts fly around the screen, and maybe see a couple of titties jiggle. If you remove all of that stuff, you're left with a "bad" b-movie that is just... well, maybe bad is a little too harsh, but not by much. Oh, stick around after the credits. 5/10.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 02/06/2012, 06:27 PM
No argument with the review, but I liked it.
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 02/06/2012, 06:31 PM
Also, I spent the entire movie amazed at how good Sara Paxton looks in a bikini. She's not quite as hot rapping.
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