A weekend at a lake house in the Louisiana Gulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to shark attacks.
Shark Night 3D is a 3-D thriller directed by David R. Ellis. The basic plot revolves around a group of college friends consisting of Nick (Dustin Milligan), Beth (Katharine McPhee), Malik (Sinqua Walls), Maya (Alyssa Diaz), Blake (Chris Zylka) and Gordon (Joel David Moore) who are all invited by their friend Sara Palski (Sara Paxton) to spend the weekend at her saltwater lake house in Louisiana. On their way to the lake house they encounter rednecks Red (Joshua Leonard) and Dennis Crim (Chris Carmack), and also the local Sheriff Greg Sabin (Donal Logue). After exploring the beautiful house and having some fun on the water, one of the group is attacked by a shark and the fun and games begin.
Normally I wouldn’t want to ruin a film and give away plot points, but I feel that with Shark Night it doesn’t really matter, as anyone that is going to see this film should just expect a cheesy shark film filled with pretty people in very little clothing. My theory is that if I show you all the best bits of the film in picture form it may peak your interest enough to check it out. Words will not do this film any justice as it may sound a little ridiculous!
The students find out that the sharks are not in this lake by accident. They were put here by someone (and fitted with video cameras no less!) so people could sit at home and watch students get eaten by sharks online. We get tiger, sand-tiger, mako, hammerhead, cookiecutter, bull and of course great white sharks. One hell of an effort to get them into a lake I’m sure you will agree. Visually they look great though, very realistic when up close.
As for the 3D, I watched this at home on a 3D TV and it looked good, some of the water splashing on the screen, underwater floating debris scenes and the kills looked pretty good in 3D. I normally find 3D a gimmicky aspect in films, but in a movie like this which is designed and shot with the 3D effects in mind rather than be added afterwards it actually added to the experience rather than detract from it.
The acting was fine, there are some familiar faces on show with the highlight and star being Sarah Paxton (who looked a lot better than she did in my previously reviewed The Innkeepers). Again, you’re not really watching this type of film for the acting skills on display. It’s all about the sharks. Leaving your disbelief of the premise aside, the sharks look fantastic and we get some great kills, and one insane kill which I have gone ahead and spoiled below as I doubt anyone has ever seen a great white take out a guy on a jet ski head-on.
As Shark Night comes to its conclusion, you will find out who has been bringing these sharks to the lake, and whilst it wasn’t a great surprise I was more amazed at the skill involved with getting all these sharks into the lake, tagged with cameras and getting them in and out of the pens they were kept in. Not very realistic at all is it?!
Unlike Piranha 3D which worked so well with it’s tongue-in-cheek self-awareness, Shark Night 3D just didn’t really work. It needed more humour to try and be a fun, campy old-school horror, or less of the insane unbelievable aspects and it could of been taken more seriously. As it was it never really did anything very well. A decent watch, some great looking people and sharks, a few decent kills but lacking in humour and really I feel needed to take more from the Piranha 3D movie. Maybe even the gratuitous R-rated scenes from Piranha 3D would have helped. They really went for it with naked people and sexual scenes, but again Shark Night 3D played it safe. A real ‘sit on the fence‘ movie as I feel they were too afraid to commit to making a balls-out serious action film or a cheesy sex filled fun time like Piranha 3D.
If the pictures littered throughout this review don’t make you want to see the film then nothing will, as I’ve shown you the best bits. For anyone else, you will have seen worse genre movies than Shark Night 3D (normally made for the Sci-Fi channel) but just don’t go in expecting the fun time Piranha 3D gave us.