If Steven Spielberg wasn’t more powerful than Jesus, Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1985, and the entire Church of Scientology combined, then we would have gotten a pointless remake of Jaws by now. Think about it: virtually every 70s horror movie has been remade in the last 10 years, including Piranha, which was originally just a cheap Jaws knock off anyways. Fortunately while Spielberg didn’t have the power to stop the shitty Jaws sequels back in the day, he’s clearly been able to save us from the horror of a new version of Jaws starring Josh Hartnett, and God bless that bearded blockbuster master for it.
However, the aforementioned Piranha remake did make a lot of money last summer and I’m sure there were Jaws 2.0 discussions as a result. On the plus side, that crap heap didn’t get made. Sadly Shark Night 3D was made instead, and having seen the results, I think I may have preferred to suffer through a Jaws remake.
The film is about a group of sexy college students who head off the richest, hottest, and nicest girl’s private beach house for a weekend getaway. Hotty McBlondie hasn’t been back to the house in quite some time after a traumatic incident involving the redneck locals, but makes an exception to appease her college cliché friends: the quiet nerd who has a crush on her, the wise-cracking dork with attitude, the tattooed slut, the football star, the football star’s personality-starved girlfriend, and the vain jock who spray tans his junk. Soon after getting to the island they are attacked by a shark. Then it keeps on happening even though they are at a lake not in any way connected to the ocean. It turns out the hicks brought in sharks themselves to tape the graphic shark kills and sell the unedited footage to the hardcore Shark Week crowd over the internet. That’s technically a spoiler, but if you can’t figure it out about an hour before the characters, you’re just not trying.
Let’s get a couple of things out of the way quickly: the story is stupid, the characters are underdeveloped, and the acting is atrocious (I’m not even going to mention the names of the actors involved and I’d imagine they’ll appreciate that). The thing is that you’ll probably expect that going in. After all, no one shows up for a movie called Shark Night 3D expecting a carefully crafted story and moving performances. No, you go to this kind of movie to watch people getting graphically eaten by sharks in 3D, and sadly you’re going to be let down on that front as well. For some inexplicable reason, Shark Night 3D is a PG-13 movie. That means that all the gratuitous nudity and severed limbs that you bought an overpriced 3D ticket to see are entirely absent. Even more frustrating is the fact that it’s clear those scenes were once in an R-rated cut of this movie that has been truncated to nothing. Every shark attack occurs so quickly that you can barely see what happens, if you see anything at all. There’s always a chance that was the intended style, but given how choppy the scenes feel and how quickly the money shots zip by, I doubt it.
Snakes On A Plane director David R. Ellis is the man responsible for this swill, but I don’t entirely blame him. Anyone who has seen his 3D Final Destination movie knows that the man can expertly frame a death scene for maximum 3D effect, and there’s none of that here. In fact, the movie is so lacking in 3D effects, that I feel like the bloody 3D money shots were too violent for a PG-13 rating and hit the cutting room floor. That’s a real shame, because they would have been the only worthwhile scenes in the whole movie. Likewise, Ellis’ typical campy sense of humor is completely absent and a movie this stupid really could have used some self-conscious gags. It’s trash played straight, and all the more boring and disposable for it. If you really want to see some 3D shark shenanigans this weekend, try to track down a bootleg 3D DVD of Jaws 3 instead. It least that movie actually delivered on the promise of gimmicky 3D shark attacks and falls into the “so-bad-it’s good” category of crappy movies. Shark Night 3D on the other hand is so bad, it’s bad. Avoid it all costs. Seriously, please heed my advice. I suffered through this thing so that you don’t have to. Please don’t make me suffer in vain.