Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shark Night 3-D

 Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! I've had massive computer troubles and haven't been able to post for over a week now. Am deeply disappointed by this as I had a target of 25 to 30 posts for the month. I was on target but that has been blown to smithereens now, and I have 10 films to write up. The computer troubles aren't over and I'm steering down the barrel of a new one completely. Bugger, that is what I don't need right now as money isn't exactly free flowing either.

 The NZ Film Festival also started several days ago, and for the first time in at least 15 years I will see none of it! Money, that accursed stuff is the issue again. I just don't have enough at the moment and it is affecting the amount of cinema trips I can make. But anyway out of the need to get out of the house before cabin fever kicked in I went to the flicks last Wednesday. Not much of a choice I'm afraid, and to be honest Shark Night 3-D was something I would normally have passed on.

Mmmm, that white bikined bum tasted good!!!
 Well the movie starts with the almost obligatory shot of a girl's bum in a white bikini!! Don't worry though there are several more 'lets get the camera as close up her bum as we possibly can' shots to come later! So I started off with a groan...even though it was certainly a nice tasty bum! But somehow this didn't give away what was a to come. If you are expecting Jaws then forget it because Shark Night 3-D is in all reality a 'torture porn' movie in the mold of Saw and Hostel ( but with sharks funnily enough and not chains, saws, etc ).

The sickos and their bait.
 I don't like the torture porn/gorno genre least of all its premise. Unfortunately Shark Night 3-D delved into this unpleasant gene. Sure there are straight out shark attacks but the scenes where three sickos start intentionally 'feeding' humans to the sharks and filming it to sell on the Internet I became somewhat unsettled by the whole thing. The problem for me is the trailers or even the first half of the movie give no indication it was going to end up as a torture porn movie. The first half was cool and relatively scary with several good shark attacks. But after that, and the revelation of how the sharks ended up in a fresh water lake, undone the movie for me.

Well at least it ain't up her bum.....yet!!
 I suppose the premise of three sickos introducing sharks into a freshwater lake and feeding humans to them is original. It is in keeping with the horror/thriller premise, but somehow watching a semi-naked girl being thrown into a net full of sharks as 'feed', and having it filmed didn't sit well with me. But if I put this aside is Shark Night 3-D any good? Well yes and no. It is directed by David R. Ellis who brought us the B-grader Snakes on a Plane, which was so silly it was fun. But this is not silly or dumb...it is frustrating, and neither here nor there satisfying.

 Unbelievably this had a budget of US$28 million!!!!! I couldn't believe it! I really wonder where such a vast amount went, because really there is nothing overly spectacular here. The sharks are generally CGI, and yeah they looked terrifying, but overall I fail to see where the money went. As of writing I believe the movie is still US$5 million short of making back its costs in the US. For the budget the end result certainly belies the amount of money spent on making it.

Oooooo a camera up my bum!!
 Reviews I've read are generally unfavorable as well. One critic summed it up thus, " A joyless excursion into the water that doesn't even produce good gore or nudity thanks to the neutered PG-13 rating." I agree with the sentiment but believe it or not the lack of nudity was a god send. It has become a cliche in horror movies that the female stars have to go topless or else the movie is considered a dud. Gore isn't my thing but in this type of movie it is unavoidable and part of the genre. OK I can live with that. But besides the lack of nudity there was also a real lack of foul language as well which was what I noticed more than anything.

Shark??..I ain't looking at the shark!!
 Obviously the movie is in 3-D but it is extremely disappointing. Believe me it it doesn't come close to that in the very impressive Final Destination 5. I don't see the point of peddling this lame 3-D. It annoys me that I don't get the option of not paying extra because of the 3-D. To me this movie would have looked the same in 2-D ( and in the process saved me NZ$3! ). The only time the 3-D was any good was at the very end, just as the credits rolled, where a huge Great White leapt out of the water with its gob open right at the screen. Funny thing is that shot was the only time in the 91 minute running time I heard any reaction from the audience!!

Bugger...can't see her bum let alone her boobs.
 With the low PG rating it is hard to figure what the producers were trying to achieve with this movie. It has a good premise excepting the torture parts. If it was just a shark attack movie then it would be OK. It has enough tension and some spectacular shark shots, especially when two guys are taken by Great Whites leaping well out of the water. But with the torture porn angle and the PG rating what was the rationale? I mean by trying to cover two bases the movie as a whole covers neither, in not being bloody enough for an older horror audience, and being too lame for a younger one.

I wonder if sharky thinks I've got a nice bum??
 And that is the crux of the movie. It fails by being not strong enough on the bloodshed and too weak on the torture porn element. In hindsight I wish the torture angle had been cut out and the movie been a fresh water Jaws, but with ratcheted up gore and tension. The idea is good but it left me with the feeling of wanting more sharks and less torture. For me I can only give Shark Night 3-D a 5/10. Firstly the premise of torture porn is a turn off which down grades the mark immediately. Secondly the 3-D is lame. Thirdly, it should have been made for an older audience, and turned into a real horror gore shark fest as it just soooooo wants, and needs to be.

  But 5/10 doesn't mean it is a bad film. The CGI sharks are cool, the acting is fine, the cinematography is also fine. In fact it is a very competently made movie. It is just the premise and the wishy washy way it is presented. If you want to make a film with that Saw type premise then go all the way instead of making this watered down version that will satisfy no-one. For me there were things I enjoyed, especially the two leaping Great Whites, but the lingering torture porn element was not to my liking. This of course let the good things down even though the premise was original and keeping within a horror theme.

Click here for a synopsis and more:


  1. This kinda sounds like a toned down version of last years Piranha, which I secretly kinda liked. Then again, I think one B-grade water horror is enough for me.

    Speaking of your film festival, I'm hoping to come up for a weekend in the holidays and check out a couple of films...I'm dying to get out of Dannevirke! I don't know if this plan will ever come to fruition, but I hope it does!

    Anyway, good review man, I look forward to the other reviews you have in store!

  2. Yeah I liked Piranha as well! Shark Night isn't as good though. If it went as bloody as Piranha then it would have scored better from me!
    I'm biterly disappointed with my finances at the moment as it means I will miss all the festival's films. Bugger as I look forward to it every year.

  3. I don't normally read reviews of films before I see them but somehow I think that Shark Night 3D will pass me by!

    The posters etc are coming into circulation here and I have seen the trailer but I have watched enough to know that this film isn't for me.

    I am up for a some blood and gore but once it slips into Gorno it just isn't for me.

    I am surprised by the PG-13 rating as the trailer gave the impression it was for an older audience. Jeez ever Gorno is being watered down for the younger crowd!!

    3D is perfect for horror and it's a shame that it didn't even get that right

    Was this your choice over Crazy Stupid Love?! ;-)

    It's a shame you missed the film festival. :-(

  4. I thought the same, felt like a less fun Piranha which had a better sense of fun than this appears to have.

    I appreciate a good bum close up but not enough to pay for a whole film, that's what the internet is for!

    Shame about your computer, hopefull you can get it fixed with as little of a headache as possible!

  5. K..this is watered down gorno no question. The first few shark scenes are attacks but it then falls into the torture porn routine which I dislike immensely. I don't blood and gore once in a while but any SAW sort of feel I avoid. The 3-D in this was lame lame lame lame! Yep I saw this over Crazy Stupid Love!!!!! BUt then again the trailers didn't do anything for me and I thought it one to avoid. But that is the way it goes sometimes isn't it?! We can't tel how god or bad amovie will be unless we watch it. Normally wiyh ample funds I would have seen it but at the moment I'm not flush and have to be selective.

    Daniel...this lacked the fun factor of Piranha. I honesly can't see what the producers were trying to do here because it is torture/gorno and yet for the wrong age group. It is far too watered down to be either bloody enough or scary.
    The bum shots are typical of horrors and even though they are cliched I don't mind them too much...after all I'm red blooded!
    My computer is 10 years old now and passed its best...bloody antique really! Will have to perservere and budget for a newbie as I can't live without the internet.