Ooooooo Shark Night, god damn you. I trusted you Shark Night. You’re directed by the guy who did Final Destination 2 (awesome movie) and Snakes on a Plane (fun movie), and you’re about sharks eating college kids. You should be amazing! But you are not amazing. You are not even good. You’re boring Shark Night. Stop boring everyone!
The opening scene seems to exist in a world where Jaws doesn’t exist, or maybe the filmmakers thought the core audience would be too young to know about it. It’s one thing to pay homage, but this is just the exact scene from the opening of Jaws! We’re not off to a rip-roaring start.
We’re then introduced to our core group of disposable, one-dimensional college students who are played by actors way too old to be playing college students. One actor is 33 years old! And he’s our standard terrible comic relief, using the word ”powned” in the opening scene and saying shit about getting laid and dudes not getting laid and dudes having vaginas, you know, cookie-cutter shit like that. Couldn’t they just have had them be friends instead of college students? Anyway as if things weren’t cliché enough, one of the characters is even planning to propose to his girlfriend while they are away at this cottage for the weekend. Gee I wonder if anything bad will happen to this man?
Of course on the way they have to go through the usual encounter with the redneck locals at the sketchy gas station. These guys do everything you would expect - make racial slurs, spit, call people “college boy”, you know, redneck shit. Has there ever been a movie where the leads encounter people at a gas station but they’re crazy helpful and never factor into the plot again? I would love to see it because this standard sequence needs to be immediately retired.
So they get to this cabin where we get a musical montage of them partying, complete with the rewinding of a scene where lead girl Sara Paxton walks outside in her bikini. Seriously, they back it up and show her walk out three times. At first I thought the movie was fucking up. I actually rewound to make sure I hadn’t imagined it, so really I saw Paxton walk outside 6 times.
So anyway after a very dull opening 20 minutes of getting to know these characters, finally sharks happen. The one thing I will say is that once the characters arrive at the cabin, the sharks do show up pretty quickly, basically as soon as they get out onto the water. And there’s no mystery, the sharks make it very clear right up front that they are responsible. So at that point you assume they just need to stay out of the water and they’ll be just fine. But these sharks are like fuck that because they can jump. I’m not a marine biologist, but can sharks really jump about 6 feet out of the water while making a loud roaring noise? That’s the one thing Jaws was missing really. There’s another reason why they can’t stay out of the water, but I’m not going to say it here just in case. Rest assured though, it’s real fucking stupid, but it captures a tone that the whole movie should have carried.
A movie like this should be a boob and gore soaked ride, but instead it’s boring, humourless, not even remotely scary, clichéd, and overall dumb. It’s as though they set out to make the most stock shark movie in history. When you hear the premise you immediately think “hey that could be fun”. But apparently these guys resented that because this movie is played shockingly serious. If you’re starving for a good shark movie, check out 1999’s Deep Blue Sea. That finds the perfect balance between being genuinely suspenseful and completely fucking ridiculous. Plus LL Cool J raps about how his hat is like a shark’s fin. This one also has a rap song, but it’s by the mostly white cast, and they sing about how you shouldn’t mistreat sharks in real life and eating toast. Not quite as good.
Also about 60% of this movie takes place during the day time, so even the name can’t be trusted.