Bait (2012)

A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building – along with a 12-foot Great White Shark.

Bait is a 2012 3D horror film. It was directed by Kimble Rendall, and feautured Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Phoebe Tonkin, Cariba Heine, Alex Russell, Lincoln Lewis, Alice Parkinson, and Dan Wyllie.

The film begins on the morning after his bachelor party and we meet a very worse for wear lifeguard Josh (Xavier Samuel). Unfortunately moments later he is unable to save Rory (Richard Brancatisano), his future brother-in-law and fellow lifeguard, when great white sharks attack the beach. Because Josh blames himself for Rory’s death, he ends his engagement to Tina (Sharni Vinson) and leaves his lifeguard position.

Sharni Vinson (Tina) & Xavier Samuel (Josh)

We then cut to a year later and find Josh working in a department store at a local mall. He is embarrassed to see Tina and her new boyfriend, Steven (Qi Yuwu). Before they can talk, a botched robbery by Doyle (Julian McMahon) and Kirby (Dan Wyllie) causes a hostage situation when a police officer, Todd (Martin Sacks) intervenes – Todd had been there to arrest his shoplifting daughter, Jaimie (Phoebe Tonkin). Suddenly a tsunami crashes into the city, flooding the mall. Lots of shoppers are killed, but Josh, Tina, Steven, Todd, Jaimie, Doyle, Kirby and two other employees, Naomi (Alice Parkinson) and Jessup (Adrian Pang) survive. Jaimie’s boyfriend, Ryan (Alex Russell), and two young lovers, Heather (Cariba Heine) and Kyle (Lincoln Lewis), are trapped in the cars in the subterranean parking deck.

It soon becomes apparent that two large great white sharks have become trapped in the mall as well, one in the store and one in the parking deck.

Coming hot on the heels of the 2011 shark themed movie Shark Night 3D, Bait actually avoids most of the flaws I found in that movie. Rather than being a ‘sit on the fence’ style of film that I found Shark Night to be, Bait actually plays it serious and for the most part succeeds in giving us a great time.

When I first heard about Bait, I couldn’t see how it would work. A great white shark, stuck in a supermarket, with people, and they can’t escape? I mean, it sounded like one of the Sci-Fi channel specials. But here we are, and after catching Bait I have to say I was very surprised and felt pretty much everything on show here worked.

Starting with how the sharks came to be in the supermarket, whilst of course it’s a bit of a reach to ignore the fact that not one but two great whites end up in the same supermarket, when you see the tsunami hit and the damage they can do, and we are shown at the beginning how many great whites are right on the shoreline, then I’m happy to look past that and enjoy the situation that follows.

Julian McMahon as Doyle

Our merry band of survivors are great. Rather than having the usual hero whilst the rest watch on, Bait actually utilises pretty much everyone as they all have a strength or offer their help. This was a nice move, and I really enjoyed the cast dynamic. Sure, we have what I would class as the lead guy in the brilliant Xavier Samuel (The Loved Ones), but there are great performances all round. Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck) plays one of the bad guys who attempts the rob the store at the beginning, but he is more than handy enough for the group to have around. The girls give the viewers not only something good to look at, but they do their bit. Whilst certain typical movie clichés are on show here (the love triangle/boyfriend & girlfriend separated/angst ridden ex boyfriend/hidden bad guy in the midst etc) they don’t ruin anything and again I was happy to over look them as I was enjoying the film too much.

Phoebe Tonkin as Jaimie

Cariba Heinn (Heather) & Lincoln Lewis (Kyle)

The main negative for me would be a scene which is very reminiscent of something which happened in REC 3, and I disliked it just as much here. One of the group decides to volunteer and enter the water in a custom-built suit of armour. I mean, just so many things are wrong with this bit, how they found and shaped all the pieces for one, and up until the end with the tube……..I don’t want to ruin anything, but this part of the film just tainted my enjoyment slightly. There are also some dodgy looking CGI moments now and again, but for the most part the sharks look very realistic.

The ‘Shark Suit’

Bait is a tension filled movie which takes itself very seriously for the most part, and I loved this approach. Whilst some people have criticised the realistic nature of sharks eating patterns (why would a shark still be hungry after eating one person?!) it offers up more than enough to make me try and recommend this film to you. Sharks, blood, guns, cops, robbers, hot guys/girls, a unique simple plot that just works, and some excellent performances, all in a nice 3D package. What more could you ask for when looking for a fun night at the movies! Bait is more than worthy of your attention, and a sequel has now been announced, which I for one can’t wait for.


    1. Hope you like it as much as I did. Your not far off with your summary, works better than it should do! Thanks for the kind words buddy :)


      1. I don’t know.. I never really have. My dad took me to see Jaws when it came out in the theater and I was afraid to take a bath fo a week. I don’t think that’s what’s going on here I have just never been into these things…


        1. I think everyone is afraid of deep water to some degree. That fear of the unknown. Although on honeymoon I kept trying to touch some of the 6ft reef sharks that swam past our ‘hut on stilts’ but thats a story for another day!


  1. I will watch this!! You find very interesting movies so I’m looking forward to it. Needless to say, your review sold it to me.

    LOL Xavier Samuel. I still haven’t gotten over his turn in “The Loved Ones.” I felt so sorry for his character. But at least he got a haircut here. (?) hahahah


    1. Thanks Franz!

      Yeah he looks ‘way hotter in this’ as my wife said :) Hope you get chance to catch it, and I look forward to your thoughts.


  2. lol, love the premise of this movie, that alone would probably be enough of me to see it. I guess I’m reviewing Mega Shark vs. Crocasaurus for my Bullshit reviews section so close enough


  3. This one’s a winner for the most part. I likened it to Sherman and his wife Marge from Sherman’s Lagoon on a shopping trip. Marge did the shopping while Sherman waited at the car. Great post, Tyson.


        1. Yeah it’s great isn’t it?! About 90% of films with sharks in though are awful. I’m probably being generous with that score too :)


  4. If you love shark attack films you love this. Ok the idea is a little bit out there but is set up well in the beginning. There are a few moments that actually made me jump. Great film there are a lot worse shark films out there. I do agree the ‘cage suit’ was too much. Overall this was surprisingly good but then I do love this kind of film.


  5. Awesome review! Definitely gonna get myself a copy of this. Quick question though: a guy named Kirby tried to rob a store? Who the hell’d be scared of someone named Kirby?


  6. Thank you for reviewing Bait, Tyson. I saw that I could rent Bait online and watch it in 3D from my Hopper DVR. I ordered it to download shortly before I left my office at DISH and it was ready to watch when I got home. Putting aside large leaps of logic and some shaky GCI, Bait wasn’t a bad shark movie. Moments reminded me of the original Tremors film, but not nearly as good. If you are just looking for a scary shark movie then Bait is for you, but if you like things logical you should move on.


      1. Let me ask you something brother – any tips on bringing in more comments to my site? Love HIAV, and I know you get loads of comments. Wondering (aside from cool content) how you make it happen?


        1. Luck? Bribery? :)

          No idea man, I tend to search on the ‘reader’ for horror related blogs, and if im reviewing a film ill search on there to see if anyone else has. If they have I stop by, say hello and check out their thoughts. It has snowballed from there really.

          Thanks for the kind words, love your work too.


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