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REVIEW: “Shark Night 3D” Achieves Its Purpose Of Being Ridiculous

Sarah Parvini |
September 3, 2011 | 10:43 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Shark Night in theaters now
Shark Night in theaters now
Let’s be honest, you don’t go to see a movie like “Shark Night 3-D” because it’s a cinematic masterpiece. You go because it looks ridiculous and you want to be entertained. To that end, “Shark Night” achieves its purpose.  

You might know the director, David R. Ellis, for some of his other so-horrible-it’s-good work. Ever seen “Snakes on a Plane” or any of the “Final Destination” flicks? He directed a few of those. With that in mind, there is no surprise as to what direction this film is going in: the horror genre’s racial stereotypes remain in tact, most of the characters are going to die in the general order they always do, and the heroes will survive. And, of course, disaster could very easily be avoided if they would just stay out of the water after the first shark attack. 

But they just have to go back in, right?

With a movie like “Shark Night” or “Piranha,” the film is generally sold off the blood, gore, and nudity. Rated PG-13, this movie lacks all of the above, unless you count the murky blood in the water and some chunks of flesh here and there. There are no cheap nude shots, and the most you will see in terms of intimacy is a quick peck on the lips. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if the studio releases an “Uncut” rated-R version on Blu-Ray. 

“Shark Night” had some moments that were genuinely funny; I have to give the director credit for that. For a movie that is about sharks, though, you don’t get to see many. Most of the time you just see a fin protruding from the lake, but there are a couple nice shots. You do get a mini science lesson about sharks, though! In fact, you might learn a lot about the fish watching this movie, which is odd. 

Some movies employ 3-D technology, but never find a good use for it (“PoTC: On Stranger Tides,” for example). This is a film to see in 3-D. The best kills in the movie use the technology well, and it adds to the horror flick as a whole, making the attacks a lot more interesting than they would be in 2-D. In fact, just don’t see this one in 2-D—it would be far too flat otherwise, and it relies heavily on the tech gimmick to get by. 

There is one particular thing about this film that I really enjoyed. I don’t want to give any spoilers for the few people who want to see this movie, so I will just say this: there is an intriguing commentary on our voyeuristic culture hidden within this film. It hints at our morbid curiosity, and our general lack of sensitivity when it comes to the macabre. It’s subtle, but if you look for it and pick up on it, I think you would appreciate it. So if you do see ”Shark Night,” keep a weather eye.

I would venture to say that this film has potential to become a cult classic because of how cheesy it is. Overall, it did what it was supposed to and kept me laughing. The movie does not take itself seriously, which I respect. Is it worth the high price of a 3-D ticket? It depends on whom you ask. I for one do not regret my choice to shell out few bucks to laugh at a rated-B flick. If you do decide to see it, just know this is a movie that is so bad you won’t be able to look away.

PS: Don’t miss the rap after the credits. It’s worth staying for.

Reach writer Sarah Parvini here


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