¨Terror runs deep¨
Shark Night is a terrible movie, I have to admit it, but somehow I ended up having a fun time with it. The performances are low key, the script borderlines in the ridiculous, and the story is really predictable, but in the mist of all the disaster I found myself having an enjoyable experience. Shark Night is a movie that takes its subject matter very lightly, it doesn`t try to be a serious horror film, or even try to show a lot of gore or being scary. It’s a movie that recognizes its limitations and plays along with it. What makes this bad movie stand out from the rest is that it ends up being bad in a good way, in other words it makes you laugh because it`s so bad. The plot is so bad that it seems that director David R. Ellis decided to just play along with the audience and let us have a good time without having to make the film gory or extremely violent. He gives us a lot of sharks, a lot of kills, and if taken lightly like the producers want you to you might end up having a good time like I did. If you are expecting a scary movie with a lot of gore than I warn you stay away from Shark Night because it`s just a light comedy with some bad acting and bad special effects. If you go into this movie expecting nothing else than that, just like I did, then you might end up having a decent time. One thing is for sure: screenwriters Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg won’t be winning any awards for their dumbed down script.
It`s time to explain my least favorite part of the film: the plot. Shark Night takes place in a lake near the Louisiana Gulf coast (yes you read right, there are sharks in a lake and there is a perfectly good reason for that). A group of teenagers decide to go to Sara`s (Sara Paxton) lake house to celebrate Malik`s (Sinqua Walls) recent success in an exam that will allow him to enter college. His friends Nick (Dustin Milligan) and Gordon (Joel David Morse) were the ones who helped him study so in order to thank them he brings them along although they aren`t part of the cool group. At the house Malik plans to propose to his girlfriend Maya (Alyssa Diaz). Beth (Katharine McPhee) and Blake (Chris Zylka) also decide to go along with the rest of the gang and have some fun at the lake. Before arriving to the house however they have a small quarrel with a pair of local hillbillies Red (Joshua Leonard) and Dennis (Chris Carmack) with whom Sara is acquainted with, but everything goes on as normal. At the lake they meet the Sheriff, Sabin (Donal Logue), who greets them warmly and even has a couple of drinks with them. The kids are ready to have a great time and begin enjoying the lake, but what they don`t know is that the lake is infested with sharks. What begins as innocent fun, ends up being a nightmare for Sara and her friends.
The actors are all relatively unknown and there is a good reason for that (they aren`t exactly great actors), but you can`t have a shark film without hot young teens. The movie really works better as a comedy than as a horror film because the plot is just ridiculous, but I did have a fun time with how the shark attacks were exaggerated. There was one scene were a shark jumps several feet over the water and eats one of the kids that is riding a motorbike. These sharks were just so exaggerated that you couldn’t help but laugh at the silliness of each scene. There are several more death scenes like this which are hugely exaggerated and I found quite funny. There is no gore because Shark Attack had a PG-13 rating so don’t expect much of the death scenes from the Final Destination producers. I haven`t seen the Piranhas film so I can`t make comparisons with it, but I heard this is nothing like the gore that film had, so if you want a stronger film or expect something like Piranhas then skip this film because you will be disappointed. Shark Night has nothing memorable to it, but I did have a surprisingly good time with it so I got to give it a passing grade, although the lowest possible one.