Shark Night 3D
September 2, 2011
Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg
David R. Ellis
Sara Paxton as Sara
Dustin Milligan as Nick
Chris Carmack as Dennis
Katharine McPhee as Beth
Chris Zylka as Blake
Alyssa Diaz as Maya
Joel David Moore as Gordon
Sometimes during hurricane season in Louisiana the oceans will swell and dump sharks into the salt-water lakes, did you know that? Sounds logical, and that is exactly what we suspect happened in Shark Night 3D.
A group of college students goes for a long weekend to the Bayou island home of Sara (Sara Paxton) to get away from the struggles of college life. Sara has an additional motive for the trip as she has an ex-boyfriend there, Dennis (Chris Carmack), who she almost killed on accident before moving off to school, and she needs to make peace with him before she can get close to another man. Dennis is quite the racist roughneck and it is difficult to understand how prim and proper bookworm and animal lover Sara could have shacked up with such a miscreant, but she was young.
Anyway, the trip is barely underway when a very fast swimming shark attacks one of them while he’s water skiing and rips his arm off. Suddenly there are sharks everywhere that can swim at about a 100 miles per hour and leap out of the water like birds; and they are hungry. How did they get there, and how will they survive?
Shark Night 3D is a collection of animated and animatronic sharks of all kinds, attacking kids at every turn. The 3D effect itself is very good and used to full advantage with great underwater views and objects flying off the screen and into the theater. The sharks generally look very good too, many of them appearing extremely real in many circumstances. In others though, the sharks get a bit cartoonish, especially when they are smiling for the camera or flying through the air.
When the allure of the 3D gimmick and fake sharks begins to fade, Shark Night 3D doesn’t have much left to offer. The story is ridiculous and the script nonsensical. Sara Paxton does her best to turn out a credible performance in spite of the goofball script and scenario, but she just can’t save it. Just about every other character does their best to undermine any sense of credibility or reason, and the storyline just gets more and more outside the realm of anything that could ever happen in any circumstance. Suspending disbelief is expected in a horror movie, but when the nature of a devious plot draws an eye roll at best, there’s something terribly wrong.
What about the gore? There isn’t any, not really. The PG-13 rating of Shark Night 3D seems like a strange choice considering this is to be a shark-carnage film, ideally with many nude women running around screaming. If a film is going to be mindless gory horror entertainment then give us something meaningful, right? Alas, there is no carnage, no nudity, nothing but some red water and smiling flying fish. The SyFy Channel would love this film, and it fits right in the lineup without batting an eye.
Overall Shark Night 3D is interesting to watch as an example of fun 3D usage, and not much else. The best kill scene is the opening scene, so be sure and pay attention to that one, but after that feel free to do chores or take some other break from watching because you won’t be missing anything important. I can’t imagine the value of watching this film in 2D, so it is definitely not recommended. Well, 3D isn’t recommended either, but 2D would be even worse.