Blu-ray Review: Weak Filmmaking Drains Creative Pool of ‘Shark Night’

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CHICAGO – There may be little LESS scary in horror than a CGI shark. From the very first scene of “Shark Night,” one knows they’re in movie-watching trouble. A personality-less drone in a bikini gets tossed around a seemingly placid lake by an unseen shark. One can’t tell what the hell is going on. There’s no shots below the surface (not really to build tension but because this movie is inexplicably PG-13). And there’s no fear, tension, or actual interest. From here, it’s much of the same. Dull, dull, shark attack, dull, shark attack, end. Throw this one back in the water.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

There’s just so little to “Shark Night.” At least “Piranha,” last year’s ridiculous 3D creature feature, had a twisted sense of horror humor. I’m sure this movie came into existence because of the success of that film but there’s no personality here. It’s just boring. And some of the actors — especially Sara Paxton (the upcoming “The Innkeepers”), Joshua Leonard, Katharine McPhee, and Joel David Moore — have the acting chops to pull of a clever riff on “Jaws” for the horny teenage set but the script gives them nothing interesting, funny, or even just fun to do. And seeing Donal Logue, the great actor and star of underrated shows like “Terriers,” just makes me sad. Like seeing David Cross in an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” movie.

Director David R. Ellis helmed easily the worst of the franchise in “The Final Destination” two years ago and proves that the failure of that film was no fluke. This one isn’t quite as awful as that train wreck but only because it’s not quite anything at all. There are glimpses of the B-movie glee that could have been had here (like when the shark chases down the kids trying to escape on a damn motor boat…super shark!) — but those glimpses never add up to much before it’s back to more poorly-directed, ratings-neutered CGI shark scenes. And scenes that attempt actual drama are unbelievably bad. One in which a friend has to tell another that his girlfriend is being digested by a shark is a total mess. A revelation that follows by Paxton is just as goofy. With no dialogue, no characters, no action, and CGI sharks, what’s left? It almost makes me wish I had a 3D TV to appreciate the main reason this film exists. Eh, that probably wouldn’t help. It would just mean another dimension of bad filmmaking.

Shark Night was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 3rd, 2012
Shark Night was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 3rd, 2012
Photo credit: Fox

Synopsis:
A dream getaway becomes a blood-soaked nightmare for seven scantily clad college students in this terrifying action-thriller from the director of The Final Destination and Snakes On A Plane!

When Sara and her friends arrive at her family’s Louisiana lake house, they quickly strip down to their swimsuits for a weekend of sexy fun in the sun. But they soon discover the lake is infested with hundreds of flesh-eating sharks - and a few equally dangerous human predators - that turn their killer vacation into a bone-crunching battle to stay alive!

Special Features:
o Shark Attack! Kill Machine!
o Shark Night’s Survival Guide
o Fake Sharks, Real Scares
o Ellis’ Island
o Digital Copy Of Feature Film

“Shark Night” stars Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, Katharine McPhee, Chris Zylka, Alyssa Diaz, Joel David Moore, and Sinqua Walls. It was directed by David Ellis. It is rated PG-13 and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 3rd, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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