Friday, April 6, 2012

"Shark Night" Review

    Horror movies are something that I hardly have touched upon in my time of writing Cinema Won. Personally, I feel as if the recent outings in the horror genre don't seem particularly interesting, especially since I don't really like being scared while watching a movie. I do enjoy the Friday the 13th series and Evil Dead II is one of my all-time favorite movies. And with my recent kick of watching classic horror movies, I tired to rent the original Jaws, however, that was unavailable, so I got stuck with this crap instead. This is Shark Night.

    Shark Night is a 2011 horror film directed by Snakes on a Planes director David R. Ellis. As one might imagine, it follows a group of hot twenty-something college students who go to a lake house for a vacation. However, trouble ensues when they learn they are sharing the lake with a group of ravenous sharks.
    Shark Night will probably bring to mind the previous year's Piranha 3D (Skip it, it sucks) in the way that the premises are pretty much the same, other than changing the title creatures. However, where's Piranha's overly silly and stupid tone was that film's downfall, Shark Night finds it's downfall in it's overly serious tone. The movie is a real joyless one. There is very little in the way of humor or creativity in the premise, which should be ripe for some silly fun. Often times, the film is just on the cusp of falling into the "Torture Porn" genre of movies made famous by the Saw series. Scenes in which characters, namely Katharine McPhee, get horribly tormented by the film's villains (Disappointingly not the sharks) are overly long, creepy and just uncomfortable to watch. The only reason it falls short of being called torture porn is because of it's clearly watered-down PG-13 rating, meaning the gore is kept to a minimum at best.

This is lame. They make this lame.
    The other really surprise is the astonishing cheapness of the film itself. The opening credits are seriously nothing more than recycled Shark Week clips colored red. The effects of the sharks are hilariously bad and undermine the very cliched last-minute scare-twist in the movie. Driving scenes look like someone shot themselves driving to the grocery store and chases scenes on boats jump and skip due to the moronic editing. Even the film's centerpiece explosion looks lame.
    The cast of the film, again mainly McPhee and lead Sara Paxton, are at the very least entertaining and do a fine with the schlock they are given. The only real awful acting is provided by Joshua Leonard, who plays the niche redneck racist creep we are all meant to hate. And we do hate him. Though, it's mainly do to the incredibly obvious job Leonard does rather than any real resemblance of effective writing.

Red food dye never looked so cheap.
    Shark Night is an exercise in completely and utter mediocrity. The film does so little with it premise, mainly due to a pathetic PG-13 rating, that it fails to deliver any kind of thrill, chill or even mild amusement. It takes it's cliched premise so seriously, that very little fun can be found anywhere. Most of the acting is ok, but everything else of the movie is just cheap, lame or both. Shark Night fail to stick in your memory for more than a hour or two at the most. And that's a very good thing. 1.5 out of 6.

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