Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Shark Night

Shark Night
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 15% (Critics) 25% (Audience)
Directed By: David R. Ellis
Written By: Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg
Starring: Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan and Chris Carmack
Studio: Relativity Media

Synopsis: The gist of the story is a bunch of college friends head off to a weekend getaway at one of the friends lake house. Once at the lake house the friends discover that they are surrounded by a lake full of sharks put there by a bunch of crazy local hillbillies.

Now that description sounds like a recipe for full throttle dumb fun. A bunch of marginally talented but photogenic young actors being eaten by computer generated sharks in a swamp in Louisiana as part of an overly complicated plot cooked up by some wacky local yokels. What is not to like about that?
Sadly there is very little fun to be had here. The movie is as predictable as one would expect but even that predictability should have been mined for laughs. Instead, too much of this movie was played serious and it just came off as lame. And boring. Insanely dull. And of course the first two friends to be attacked are the black dude and his Latina girlfriend. This movie is dedicated to honoring every horror movie cliche it can think of.

Going back to the big plan for a moment…let’s ignore the fact that capturing a shitload of live sharks (including great whites!), transporting them to a lake and then outfitting them with freaking video cameras is an extremely difficult undertaking that probably has cost these goobers an obscene amount of money and time; their motivations for doing this are just as muddled and goofy as the movie itself. One of them is doing this because he wants to make videos of people being eaten by sharks for pay-per-view airings based off of some twisted logic that includes an odd mix of Shark Week, the old Faces of Death videos, and class warfare. Like the one economic market forecasted to enter into a boom age in the next few years is the online snuff film industry. And the leader of this crew is doing it because he is a scorned ex-boyfriend who is holding a grudge against his high school sweetheart for accidentally scarring his face. The movie glosses over the fact that in a retelling of this event the young lady in question seems to think nothing of the fact that her Romeo was intent on leaving her to drown during their farewell scuba diving date. Nope, she (or the guy she recounts this homicide attempt to) doesn’t even blink an eye in horror. No one seems to find Scarface’s behavior that night to be odd in the least. Instead she sends her friends off with him to their deaths.

I also only got two laughs out of this movie. Laugh one is from the scenes where the dude who got his arm bit off goes out to battle the sharks only armed (ba-DUM-bump!) with a spear. In those scenes it is obvious that the movie ran out of cash for any more CGI because you could see that all they did was tuck his “missing” arm into his hoodie and just left the bloody sleeve dangling…it was pretty pathetic to be honest. The other laugh comes from the music video featuring the cast that is shown after the credits.

Final Verdict: SHARK NIGHT 3-D may be the stupidest movie that I have ever seen. Its not even stupid in a good way like THE WICKER MAN where it is so stupid it generates tons of unintentional hilarity. Nope SHARK NIGHT 3-D is just plain old stupid. The concept is stupid. The execution is stupid. The acting is stupid. The characters are stupid. The CGI sharks are stupid. Even the 3-D is stupid. And above all I am stupid for wasting 90 minutes of my life in a darkened theater eating unbuttered popcorn watching it. New rule…unless a movie that looks like crap is starring Nicolas Cage avoid it like the plague.

I think this movie may have been able to produce some redeeming moments if it had been rated R but by going for the PG-13 rating they basically removed any hopes they had for making even a semi-entertaining movie. SHARK NIGHT 3-D didn’t even feel like a movie that should have been released in theaters. Instead it seemed like one of those SyFy Channel original movies that comes on every Saturday Night but sadly is lacking any of the goofy charm that one can find in classics like SHARKTOPUS and MEGA PYTHON VS GATOROID. F

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