NNWIJ: Shark Night 3D (2011)

Director: David R. Ellis

Notable Cast: Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, Katharine McPhee, Joel David Moore, Donal Logue, Chris Zylka

Rating: PG-13

Review:  Shark Night 3D: wonder what David R. Ellis’ film is about!  Should have just stayed with Untitled Shark Film, or Watch College Kids Get Eaten By Sharks.  Did I just flick on the SyFy channel by accident?  Might as well have.  All the chum filled debauchery starts when Sara (Paxton) invites some college friends back to her home town, partaking in some lakeside fun.  Little does she know locals have populated the lake with man-eating sharks though, putting a damper on weekend activities.  And that’s it.  Shark Night 3D.  There are sharks.  It takes place mostly at night.  And was in 3D for theaters.   Yup, not a thinking man’s horror movie if you couldn’t catch on.  Disappointing, considering the recent Netflix Watch Instantly hot streak I’d been riding.  Oh well, all good things have to end eventually and Shark Night 3D knocked my “Days Without A Bad Netflix Viewing” sign right back to 0.  Now hey, I’m all for mindless entertainment, and between you and me the state I was in for Shark Night 3D warranted a low focus kind of deal.  But with that said, not even a day full of 16oz. Budweiser cans and stomach busting BBQ couldn’t set Shark Night 3D straight.  First off, I can take zero plot as long as horror aspects step up like gore and kills (you know, all that good stuff), but Shark Night 3D‘s PG-13 rating handicapped any kind of serious genre fun.  Every tasty shark snack ended blandly with some gurgling, watching the character bob up and down 2 -3 times, and a final jacuzzi jet of bloody bubbles.  Every.  Time.  Variation is the spice of life, making Shark Night 3D as bland as unaltered tofu.  Not to mention all of Ellis’ characters apparently have gills, spending unimaginably long spurts under water with no oxygen.  I’m sorry, I try that stuff all the time (holding my breath, not fighting genetically enhanced sharks) and I’m panicking after 20 seconds.  So, you understand my superhero amazement watching what seems to be a 5 minute scene of underwater action where characters never even seem to struggle with the simple act of breathing.  Not buying it.  And, well, that’s really it in Shark Night 3D.  The big twist revealing our hillbilly shark trainer’s motivation lands far too off base to be believable, and as villains are nothing but backwoods stereotypes.  What could have been a hard R rated scare fest turns out to be nothing but a soft piece of teen horror not even effective enough to ward me off summer vacationing at an almost exact replica Shark Night 3D‘s Louisiana Gulf setting.  Lake, wave runner, boat…yeah I can’t wait.  Jaws was so craftily put together, Spielberg had me cowering from even the smallest puddle.  Shark Night 3D?  Not so much.  David. R. Ellis put me to sleep with his aquatic terror…literally.  Had to finish this beauty in the morning.  But if you ignore my warning, be ready for lots of mindless chatter and far too little suspense or excitement.  So happy I skipped the 3D theater viewing…

Netflix Rating: 1/5

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About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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