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Shark Swarm (2008)

DVD Cover (Sonar Entertainment)
Director:
James A. Contner James A. Contner
Starring:
Daryl Hannah Daryl Hannah
John Schneider John Schneider
Armand Assante Armand Assante
F. Murray Abraham F. Murray Abraham
Roark Critchlow Roark Critchlow

3.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres / Traits: Horror, Natural Horror, Sharks
A fisherman and his family fight to take down a greedy real estate developer who has released toxins into the ocean, turning the area's sharks into bloodthirsty hunters. --TMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: May 25, 2012
That's it. Shark Swarm is the final straw. Fuck natural horror.

Welcome to Full Moon Bay, a small fishing town which entrepreneur Hamilton Lux is basically buying. Property by property he's paid more than top-dollar with hopes of renovating the whole area into condos and touristy shit and the whole nine yards. In order to persuade the people of this town, he's been pouring chemicals into the bay that's killed the fish, and since said fish is the livelihood of basically everyone, his lucrative offers sound like a damned good option. In addition to driving the fisherman out, something something the sharks have no fish to eat so they form a giant swarm. I don't know, it's not really important. Anyway, there's still a few obstacles standing in Lux's way. For one thing, Daniel Wilder absolutely refuses to sell his place, even with his funds depleting, and since the Wilder home sits smack dab in the middle of Lux's plans, somethings got to be done with him. In addition, the EPA agent sent to monitor his construction is getting a little nosier than he would have liked. She eventually joins with the Wilders to try to save the town from both Lux's corruption and, in the last ten minutes of the movie, the titular swarm. Meanwhile Lux's methods of persuasion are getting more and more drastic. Yada yada yada, who gives a fuck.

Seriously? Who the fuck is responsible for this? First off, why would you release a movie called fucking Shark Swarm, and then make it about some guy buying out Bumfuck, USA? If I want to watch what is basically a one-man-against-the-corporate-machine flick, I'm not reaching for something titled like this. Hell, even if I knew in advance what this was, and that's what I wanted to watch, it still fucking sucked. Nothing about this whole thing was even remotely realistic, and at the end when it all boiled down to the obligatory hostage situation, my eyes were rolling so hard I got a migraine. I'm having a hard time finding a positive point here. Sure, none of our actors hurt anything (I really liked John Schneider in fact), but that's like pointing at a car that was just in a head-on collision with an eighteen wheeler and pointing out that the sideview mirror isn't busted. It's useless.

As all of this irrelevant nonsense is going, I'll grant that yes, we do occasionally cut to a random, unnamed extra frolicking in the water before the sharks move in. However, these attacks are worthless. First of all, they don't even tie in to the rest of the film; there's no cases of people running around yelling, "Where's my baby!?", there's no main characters involved with the sharks until much farther into the film, but worse than any of that, they look fucking terrible. The CGI that brings them to life is some of the worst I've seen, and they shamelessly used the same animation repeatedly throughout the whole movie. Occasionally they'd change it up by changing the shark from a bull to a hammerhead, but I don't think I saw so much as one great white, which is the species the characters kept yelling about. Yeah, I know, it's the grand daddy so it's practically a buzz word in shark films, but it helps if ya, you know, actually use it.

As if all of this wasn't bad enough, they felt it necessary to add some salt to the wound. 164 minutes of salt, to be exact. Yes, not only is this movie not actually about a shark swarm, but it's THREE fucking hours long. There's no reason whatsoever to have so much padding in it. A little characterization is nice, sure, but when it's so irrelevant, it needs to be trimmed. But not here. No, instead every single relationship is played out in detail. Not only is the strength of Wilder's love shown time and time again, but brother Phillip sets about clumsily wooing that EPA agent, we get to enjoy all the workings of teenage puppy love as daughter Kim and surfer Chris get cozy, and then of course there's that crush between Daniel and Phillip's mother and the local pastor. Yes, I decided to watch a movie called Shark Swarm with six bloody sharks on the cover because I wanted to see a couple of geriatrics brush the dust off some old broad's twat and show her the Rod of God. Go to Hell.

On a serious note, I'm sure I'll be back to the world of natural horror at some point. After all, Shark Swarm is the eleventh in a rather large series of unrelated films (each about a different beastie) known as the Maneater series, and I've been interested in checking out quite a few of them for some time. Still, there's going to be a lot more caution exercised from here on out: if the synopsis gives me so much as a glimmer of a thought that it's pulling this "sub-plot" bullshit, it's promptly going to be ignored. As for this one: 0/10, and a personal "Fuck you" to all parties involved.
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