(The following review was contributed by Tim Walker. Tim also writes for his own blog, here.)
Let me preface this review by saying I didn’t see this film in 3D, and to be perfectly honest it really doesn’t matter whether or not you do either.
The film opens with a credit sequence straight out of a History channel documentary; it’s a medley of swirling red water and sharks looming towards the camera. The film then cuts to a woman swimming in shallow water on the edge of a lake, we are them forced to see the very annoying boyfriend of this woman give her a scare. To say he is an inconsiderate asshole is a bit of an understatement, he “jokes” around with her and then swims back to shore. As she continues to swim she is suddenly and violently torn apart by guess what? That’s right, a shark! This opening did kind of annoy me, because the dumbass boyfriend didn’t get torn apart which would have been very amusing to see.
The film then cuts to “Tulane University” where we are slowly introduced to our little group of characters. I was expecting to see an irritating group of whiney collage brats, but instead we get funny and kind of enjoyable characters. They are still the basic B grade horror stereotypes; the stoner, the smart guy, the football player and so on. But I liked them, and I get pissed off at these types of characters very easily so the fact that I liked them was actually surprising.
The group are meeting up to celebrate a good examination result, by taking an impromptu trip to a lake house owned by Sara who is sort of the second lead next to the main character Nick. The group drive out to a boat rental dock on the edge of the lake, but on the way they bump into two of the most stereotypical racist hillbillies I have ever seen. This is of course the start of some unintentional comedy, which was great. After this little confrontation with the hillbillies the group get in the hire boat and eventually reach Sara’s house, which is predictably massive.
After a few scenes of the usual collage partying stuff the film starts to get bloody, as one of the group has his arm ripped clean off by a shark while out on the water. After a terrible attempt to get their friend to a hospital the group not only lose one of their number but the boat as well, leaving them trapped on the small island that the house is situated on. As the group are very gradually picked off by sharks we begin to realise that perhaps the sharks are not the only thing they have to worry about.
This film missed a big trick by calling itself Shark Night, a much more accurate and entertaining title would have been Snuff Films of the Hillbilly Shark Men. This would have not only advertised the film more accurately, but it would have made me run down the street in my boxer shorts to go and buy it as soon as I could. This film really is a cut above the endless shitty-shark films that get churned out nowadays. Sure it had dodgy CGI, but it was fun, which is not something I tend say about a lot of modern killer shark movies, which are mostly dull, cheap and mean-spirited which is not a good combination. This film had surprisingly good production values; the acting was fine and the characters were likeable. So I am going to give this one 7/10, it was a lot of fun and well worth a watch. And no I am not going to explain why Snuff Films of the Hillbilly Shark Men is a more accurate title, you’re going to have to find that one out for yourself by watching the film.