SHARK NIGHT 3D Review – You Are Not Prepared.

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Directed by David R. Ellis, 2011
Written by Will Hayes, Jesse Studenberg

SHARK NIGHT 3D is a brilliant movie.  I’m not being ironic and I’m not trolling you when I say that.  SHARK NIGHT 3D is next level stuff; the most sentient horror movie since SCREAM.  This is the STARSHIP TROOPERS of killer shark movies– and if you know me, you know I do not mess around when it comes to comparing things to STARSHIP TROOPERS.  In fact, this may be the first time I’ve ever even dared to do it, but that’s just how strongly I feel that what director David R. Ellis and screenwriters Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg created here will be completely misunderstood and wrongfully dismissed as just a bad movie filled with pretty people ripped apart by sharp teeth.

This is not a bad movie.  It’s a movie with an agenda, and that agenda is to take killer shark and cabin-on-the-lake horror movies, dissect them, examine their bits and then reassemble a new movie out of its favorite parts.  That abomination then climbed off of the operating table and screamed “SHARRRRRK NIIIIIIIGHTT!!!” while lightning crashed and the guy who made SNAKES ON A PLANE stood in front of a stained glass window, maniacal muttering, “Finally, they’ll see.  I’ll make them all see.”

Sadly a beautiful monster like this won’t be popular in a world where people mistake its on-the-nose dialogue and batshit insane plot for bad screenwriting.  The reality is it’s not bad screenwriting at all (how can it be if it has you laughing and cheering at every point it wants you to?), it’s just that it operates with a heightened sense of self-awareness that a lot of people aren’t ready for.  They think they’ve got the movie figured out.  They think if they laugh at a super cheesy line of dialogue or a ridiculous action piece, they’ve somehow beaten the movie.  But what people don’t realize is that this movie was onto you first.  This is the velociraptor of killer shark movies.  Stare it right in the eyes and then the attack comes from the sides.


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Directed by David R. Ellis, 2009
Written by Eric Bress

Does the “The” added before the title, in lieu of a number four, mean that this series is dead now?  FINAL DESTINATION had the efficient idea of cutting out the middle man from slasher films, just offing its teenybopper cast members through awful, gory accidents, and skipping the whole killer thing, but the films have gotten progressively lazy.

The first attempted to tell a compelling story, the second one used the art of misdirection for maximum shock value, but the third one poorly telegraphed every death scene, and, with this fourth and latest installment, we’ve reached the point of self-parody.  Yes, the instantly forgettable cast of vanilla zeroes will escape some catastrophe in the first ten minutes of the film, then spend all of their time between each character’s death scene trying to figure out the order in which everyone will die.

THE FINAL DESTINATION manages to completely sever itself from the tale of Flight 180 (despite some in-jokes), but it hardly matters, as it forges no new ground.  Nick O’Bannon (Bobby Campo) attends a stock car race with his immensely unlikeable best friends, where he witnesses their tragic deaths in a premonition involving a crumbling stadium, condescending NASCAR fan cliches, and Krista Allen putting tampons in kids’ ears.  It’s the sorriest opening for an installment  in this series by far–poorly staged, and executed with some of the worst CG I’ve seen in a recent feature film. 

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