(Jumping the) Shark Night Review

Shark Night Review
By Bret Dorman

My dad watches a lot of stupid movies. When he watches them, he makes fun of them and points out all the stupid things, stupid characters, stupid decisions, anything stupid. When the movie is over, he simply says “That was stupid” and switches the channel to SportsCenter.

Why does he watch all these stupid movies? Because sometimes watching a stupid movie and making fun of it can be a lot of fun in and of itself. Shark Night could have been one of those stupid movies you make fun of while secretly enjoying, except that it’s just stupid.

The Story: A bunch of kids go to an island and then a bunch of sharks start eating them. Also, Donal Logue is a sheriff.

This movie was directed by the David R Ellis, the guy who did Snakes on a Plane. Now I know what you are thinking. Snakes on a Plane was AWESOME! Yes… it was. But a large part of what made that movie great was the internet and the fact it went in for re-shoots to include stuff from the internet. Sharks is like Snakes only it has little-to-no fun with itself, had no internet hype, and is PG13.

“PG13? A bad thing? But I know plenty of good PG13 movies!” Yes. But name one slasher movie that is PG13 and good. Can’t do it. A Good PG13 movie is non existent. Like a Kevin Smith movie without vulgar language or a Neveldine/Taylor movie with a steady cam shot. Shark Night might be disguised as a water creature movie, but at heart it is a slasher.

Going through the inadequacies of this movie could be fun, but they are self-evident. This movie could be lots of fun if you gather up a bunch of friends, get a lot of beer, and sit down and make this your very own Mystery Science Theater 3000 show.

If this movie were in on its own joke it would be fun. Or if it took itself even more seriously and was gory it would be more enjoyable. But it’s stuck in the middle. There are a couple of genuinely funny moments and a couple of ‘Are they really going to go there?’ moments but a majority of the movie is a waste.

The opening is a girl alone (her BF went out for more beer), in a lake, swimming. Something drags her underwater. I wonder what it could be?! A Shark perhaps?! And then the movie cuts to the opening titles. No explicit bloody gore. No shark. No nuthin’.

As the movie continues, there are a series of fake outs. A character enters mad at another. Just kidding they are friends! A cop chases a boat in the water. Just kidding they are friends! Everything in this movie is fake and then switched around. That’s because instead of building real scenes, its much easier to lower expectations and undermine yourself at every turn. I’m not sure if these fake outs were designed to be fun or funny, but they turn out to be lazy and make what happened before it pointless.

There are some fun moments, especially Donal Logue’s character. Does it make sense? No. But I was into it. If only they could have gotten to that quicker. There were also a lot of different sharks. Which fit into the absurdity of the ‘plot twist’. I wanted more sharks! More absurdity! More Gore!

You know its sad when in a Shark Slasher flick the grossest part of your movie is when a girl uses a gas station bathroom and doesn’t put down toilet paper. 1) It sets up the fact these characters are stupid and 2) It features neither a shark nor gore.

In Conclusion, this movie is perfectly fine to make fun of and it gives you a lot of material for that. If that were the case in almost any other movie maybe I would be more generous in my rating. But a movie about sharks killing people in absurd ways could have been way more fun and had much more potential. My advice, David R Ellis is next time you get a movie about animals killing people let the internet have a go at it first, then make the movie they want to see.

Final Grade: D (which is pretty good actually for a PG13 slasher flick I guess)

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