No. Don’t seek out this movie. Don’t think about this movie any longer. It’s not worth it. It’s awful, stupid, and not worth any amount of thought that you can put into it. The sad part is that its director is a talented person, making the incredibly enjoyable Cellular and the pretty fun Snakes on a Plane. I mean, he also made the two lesser Final Destination flicks, but considering how much I loved Cellular, I was willing to forgive at least one of those. Not Shark Night 3D, though. I’m not forgiving this one.
The plot involves a group of college kids going up to the cabin on the lake and eventually getting eaten one by one by a group of sharks which are there for the sole purpose of eating college kids going up to the cabin on the lake. Okay, so there’s an actual reason that will be revealed a lot later into the film than matters, but suffice to say that there are sharks and the college kids get eaten a bunch. There are no real characters so I’m not even going to start listing their names. There are three males and three females. That’s enough information.
There are villains that are not the sharks, and they put the sharks there. If you get surprised by who is behind it all, shame on you. There’s nothing original about this flick, and it’s so similar to other horror movies that if you are fooled, you need to watch better ones. If you are surprised by a single thing in this film — except, perhaps, that the black guy doesn’t die first — then you pick bad movies for your introduction to the genre. And that’s what this would have to be, because seeing more than one or two other horror films would cue you in on just what this one features.
Here’s a better movie than this with the same basic premise, without the ridiculous final act “twist”: Piranha 3D. In that one, it’s the same thing except a herd of piranha have decided to unleash havoc on a (larger) group of college kids on spring vacation. That one wasn’t rated PG-13, meaning that the deaths didn’t all just involve people being pulled under the water and having red food coloring appear right afterward, like what happens here.
Oh, and they could also do pretty much whatever they wanted in Piranha, meaning that creativity was actually applauded instead of condemned. Because of the higher rating, it could get away with tons of scenes that wouldn’t fly in a movie like Shark Night, meaning that the audience could actually, you know, have fun. When your premise is one like this, that is the only thing that matters. Suffice to say I didn’t have fun with this film.
You know how you don’t see the shark until fairly late into Jaws? Remember how that helped build tension? And remember how real that shark felt when you did see it? Like it was really there? Apparently the filmmakers of Shark Night never saw Jaws, as they do the opposite for all of this. We see the sharks fairly early on, and they all look terrible right off the bat. Many of them are clearly all CGI, while the few that are slightly convincing still aren’t quite real enough. It’s hard to be frightened when the special effects are this bad.
Not that you would be anyway, but at least the effort could have been there. You’re not going to be scared or care about the fates of any of these people, as they’re all unlikable. This isn’t anything new in horror films, but within the first few minutes I was hoping that all but one of these people would die. The only one I liked was Malik (Sinqua Walls), as he at least appeared to have ambitions — he was going to propose to his long-time girlfriend during this trip. I decided he could live, but nobody else.
Malik’s actor was also probably the best of the bunch, even though Walls currently doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. Someone should change that. The rest of the cast is lackluster, although Chris Carmack and Joshua Leonard make suitable hillbilly archetypes. Does anyone else find it odd that Sara Paxton has kind of become the go-to girl for horror films as of late? She just never seemed like the type, but then she keeps turning up in them. Maybe she’s just really trying to get people to forget about Darcy’s Wild Life.
I wasn’t even sure what Shark Night wanted to do. It’s not campy enough to be fun, nor does it ever reach the so-bad-it’s-good territory. It just kind of exists, swimming in a pool of its own blood, waiting for someone to finish it off. Perhaps a shark could do that. It sits uncomfortably in the space where movies go when they’re so bad, they’re just bad. There is nothing to take from this film, and just thinking about it is likely killing brain cells.
Shark Night 3D is awful, and if you even consider watching it, make sure you’re either in a properly altered state of mind, or with friends with whom you enjoy laughing at bad movies. Because if neither of those happen, you’re going to have an awful time. It’s a stupid, absurd, lazy attempt at making a PG-13 horror movie, and it makes me sad that a director who has made good films in the past has stooped this low. I mean, The Final Destination was bad, but this is worse.