Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


SHARK NIGHT (2011). Director: David R. Ellis.

"There's no such thing as sickness anymore. It's all moral relativism."

A group of college friends go to a cabin on a salt water lake for a fun weekend, only to discover that someone has stocked the lake with a variety of voracious sharks. This Jaws reinvented for the youtube generation [while nowhere near as memorable] has despicable villains who want to get footage of people being eaten so they can make money from sickos who want to view the carnage on the Internet. Some geeky gorehounds hated Shark Night because it wasn't as gross or graphic as Piranha 3D, but Shark Night is actually a better movie, with a more interesting plot and some suspense. The characters seem to actually care about each other. Nevertheless Shark Night could have used some punching up, not with more gore necessarily [although the heartless bad guys expire a bit too quickly] but with a faster pace and more adroit editing. The cast of young actors is attractive and more than capable of handling what is required of them. Chris Carmack makes an impression as a bad guy all whacked out because of a scar on his face that would hardly keep the ladies from bedding him, while Dustin Milligan scores as the more sensitive Nick. Sinqua Walls is suitably intense as a determined man who has lost his arm and his girlfriend to the sharks and wants to get even. Sara Paxton makes a credible heroine and the other ladies are fine. One stupid moment has Nick finding his friend's severed arm intact after he's bitten by a shark -- but why wouldn't the shark have eaten the arm? He didn't attack the guy just to be nasty.

Verdict: Entertaining thriller just misses being really memorable. **1/2.

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