Shark Night 3D

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By Mike Smith

A young woman is swimming alone, left in the water by her boyfriend. Suddenly she is pulled violently back in forth until she disappears. Sound familiar? This is the opening scene from “Shark Night 3D,” a film that tries, on several occasions, to steal from “Jaws”…a feat it fails at miserably.

The story: a group of college students from Tulane decide to spend the weekend at the home of rich girl Sara (Paxton). While stopping for booze they meet some of the unsavory characters that Sara grew up with. Why has it been three years since she’s come home? And really, who cares? Once at the house they begin to disappear, one by one, in a series of shark attacks. Scared yet?

What a horrible film. The plot, as it is, is lame enough without all of the inconsistencies the story holds. When the teens decide to call for help we are told that there is no cell phone reception. But surely that won’t affect the land line based telephones in the house?

Besides the opening “Jaws” rip-off scene, the film also steals from “Jaws 2” (waterskier), “Jaws 3” (horrible 3D) and even pulls a “flying” shark out of “Jaws the Revenge.” We learn that there are 46 different kinds of sharks in the lake yet apparently no one has ever been attacked until now. Trying to tie the attacks into an attempt to make money off the people who enjoy “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel each year is equally absurd. More unbelievable are the various sharks. They come off as cartoony rubber toys. And to my understanding, most of the lakes I’ve come across are fresh water, which would not be conducive to sharks. But when this fact is brought up on screen we are informed that this is a salt water lake. Whatever.

The direction is pedestrian at best. Director Ellis seems keen on two things: speeding up the film to make everyone travel around fast and bikini clad back sides. The scares, if you want to call them that, are telegraphed minutes ahead. And the 3D is almost non-existent. Apparently Hollywood thought they would ass-rape the movie going public one more time before the summer ended and charge an extra three dollars! My advice is to take that money and go rent “Jaws.”