Fun is also in short supply in “Shark Night 3D”, a cynical and insufferable shark movie which somehow managed to get itself a theatrical release despite it being really, really awful.
Sara (Sara Paxton) and her friends set out to spend a fun-filled weekend at her lake house on the shores of Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain. But shortly after their arrival one of them is attacked by a shark and badly injured. Its when they call for help, though, that their troubles really begin…
I’m used to bad shark movies relying on stupidity but the characters of “Shark Night 3D” are so boneheaded it’s a wonder the sharks can crunch through them in this utterly joyless killing spree. For a film which touts its 3D credentials, the characters are woefully one-dimensional, the cast dividing into two equally unlikable groups: obnoxious college kids and hostile rednecks.
After the first of the college kids loses an arm to a shark attack, there is no logical reason for there to be any further victims so the writers resort to series of unfortunately ridiculous events to get more people in the water and hope you won’t twig to how unfeasible it is for a shark – of any species – to catch up with let alone outpace a speedboat or jetski. Also, for reasons of narrative convenience, the lake house apparently doesn’t have a landline (even today this is unlikely so back in 2011 doubly so) and with the lake apparently full of super-fast man-eating sharks, it never occurs to anyone to travel by land to get help.
Director David R Ellis (“Final Destination 2”, “Snakes On A Plane”) seems as bored by the goings-on as the audience and so spends much of his time focussing his camera on the hindquarters and torsos of semi-naked models/ ‘actors’ although the decision to keep this film tween-friendly means that its all just sleazy titillation as there’s no actual nudity and very little gore for a 3D film about killer sharks. The script is so shallow it’s a wonder its deep enough for all but the smallest sharks to swim in and while it deserves props for trying to make the cookie-cutter shark a fearsome movie monster, the ragtag assortment of different sharks just makes the whole thing more ridiculous. The big ‘twist’ is one you can see coming a mile off and even then, the added dash of “Deliverance” fails to spice up this anaemic Louisiana gumbo.
Joyless, witless and tedious, “Shark Night 3D” fails to make much of a splash and ends up being a contender for dumbest shark movie of all time.