Shark Night (2011)
Shark Night head and fin above the competition
I love fish. Whether I’m eating them in stick form (thank you, Captain High Liner) or watching them in films like The Little Mermaid or Deep Blue Sea, fish and other such sea creatures have always given me great joy, in addition to higher levels of mercury. So I was absolutely delighted this week when my copy of the newly released on home video film Shark Night arrived.
Shark Night tells the tale of seven college students who take a trip to a secluded cottage. This is never good news. Movies have taught me that any time a group of at least four 18 to 25 year olds decide to go on a trip together, they almost assuredly will die – especially if they are really attractive. Such is the case with this group of students including Sara (Sara Paxton of Aquamarine), Nick (Dustin Milligan of 90210) and Beth (Katharine McPhee of The House Bunny), among others.
What should have been a few days of frivolity, and perhaps fornicating, turns into a bloody disaster. Nature’s greatest menace, the shark, is present to ensure this will be a weekend these youngsters will never forget… assuming they live through it.
Unlike the over-the-top violence exhibited in 2010’s Piranha, Shark Night is a more methodical film. Don’t get me wrong, there is blood and gore – it is a film about sharks, after all – but it is done in a more suspenseful manner, which leads up to a thrilling finale… or should I say fin-ale?
I enjoyed many of the performers in Shark Night, but two in particular were standouts.
Joel David Moore portrays Gordon and provides much of the comic relief. Moore is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors. You might not know the name, but you have certainly seen his work in such films as Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Hottie and the Nottie, Grandma’s Boy and a little film called Avatar. He also delivered a terrific comedic performance as Hitler in one of last year’s hidden gems, Chillerama. I hope will be seeing more of Moore in the future.
While Moore provides the laughs, Katharine McPhee provides the sex appeal. Laughs, sex and sharks, who could ask for more? McPhee was the first runner- up in the 2006 season of American Idol. While that program may have a spotty record as far as producing long-lasting music careers, many of the contestants have delivered terrific performances in films. Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar for her work in Dreamgirls. Kelly Clarkson was delightful in From Justin to Kelly. And who could ever forget Clay Aiken in the title role of this summer’s blockbuster Thor? Well McPhee blows them all out of the water. Whether she is belting out “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on American Idol or desperately trying to not become a shark’s supper, she exhibits a real star quality.
There are plenty of fish in the sea and just as many films about them, yet Shark Night still stands out as a refreshing and original film. I guarantee you will be thrilled to the gills during your entire viewing of Shark Night.