Thursday 26 January 2012


Something smells rotten and it's not just the fish. If you're planning on watching Shark Night 3D with your chums (yes, that is a fish pun), you might want to read my review first...

Wanting to spend a nice relaxing weekend with her friends, Sara (Sara Paxton) invites them all up to a remote lake house her father owns in her home town. As the college kids start to party, a series of shark attacks start to devastate the group, but luckily Sara's ex-boyfriend Dennis (Chris Carmack) is around to help. Or is he?

Along with Sara and a couple of other attractive young girls, there's a group of utter tosspots who really don't ingratiate themselves by spending their introduction complaining about losing XBox gamer points whilst playing Halo. Anyone who says "these guys are getting pwned!" without a shred of irony deserves to be ironically shredded. At least there's hope that once the godawful college rock soundtrack and endless montages are over we'll finally get to some sharks, and they've got a worthwhile job to do.

Lead actress Sara Paxton has prior form with underwater activities, having starred as a mermaid in 2006's Aquamarine. I think that sadly sums up the career journey of a lot of young actresses nowadays, starting off in the cutesy, best friends forever, Disney-esque Aquamarine and end up as bikini-clad shark bait in trashy horrors like this. Starring as the virginal blonde with a troubling back story, this must have a less believable plot than the episodes of Spongebob Squarepants I'm reliably informed she appeared in.

It pains me to have to refer to this film by its full title, Shark Night 3D, as it's once again a pathetic use of the format. I really don't want to be down on the process as a whole as done properly it can be effective; but instead this is yet another cheap use of bad 3D to raise the ticket price and convince audiences that there's something special about the film. There really isn't, it's terrible. Luckily the Blu-ray disc comes with the option to view the film in 2D, but then you can easily pick out more flaws of the film, including some astonishingly poor special effects.

On a par with the sharks from Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, the film should have practiced the old 'less is more' adage to its visual effects. One particularly bizarre chase scene set at twilight looks like they've left the colour timing and shading work to the work experience kid, illuminating the faces of people from impossible light sources. I wouldn't be surprised if the work experience kid provided the bulk of the plot too, as it relies on some idiotic twists. Who gets a hankering for a bowl of soup when they've just seen at least two of their friends ripped to pieces in the water? The two local hicks are ridiculous too, with one of them having teeth like the Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow whilst the other one looks like a catalogue model. It really makes no sense.

A truly awful film that fails to be thrilling, scary or even easy to laugh at, its approach to racial equality could do with some work too, as Shark Night 3D might as well be known as Chompy the Racist Shark Who Likes To Pick On The Ethnic Minorities First, in 3D.


Special Features: 2D and 3D option, Shark Night's Survival Guide, Fake Sharks Real Scares, Ellis' Island.

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