Tonight at midnight horror fans all over will be able to see for themselves if Shark Night 3D has any bite to it or not. Directed by David R. Ellis (The Final Destination), Shark Night 3D is centered around a group of college friends who set out for a relaxing weekend lakeside, only to witness their vacation turn into a bloody disaster after they realize the lake has somehow become overrun by a gaggle of angry (and hungry) sharks.
Recently Dread Central was on hand for the Shark Night 3D press day and had the opportunity to sit down and chat with several of the film’s stars including Joel David Moore (Hatchet, Avatar, the upcoming Chillerama), Sara Paxton (The Last House on the Left, The Innkeepers), Dustin Milligan (Final Destination 3, Slither), Chris Carmack (“The O.C”), Chris Zylka (My Super Psycho Sweet 16 and the upcoming movies Piranha 3DD and The Amazing Spider-Man), Sinqua Walls (“Friday Night Lights”) and Alyssa Diaz (the upcoming Red Dawn remake).
Check out our roundtable interview highlights below and make sure to see Shark Night 3D for yourself when it invades theaters everywhere tomorrow (or midnight tonight in selected cities)!
Question: Can you talk about working with the animatronic sharks in Shark Night 3D and David’s decision to use animatronics for most of the sharks rather than relying on all CG sharks for the movie?
Zylka: I can tell you the animatronic sharks make this movie feel that much more real than, say, a lot of Syfy movies. I mean, those are fun, but that’s not what we’re doing here. I can tell you from personal experience, going from Piranha 3DD to something like Shark Night, it’s far easier as an actor to react to something that looks like a shark than a guy holding a fish on a stick in your face.
Sometimes I would get caught up in the moment and almost forget that these weren’t real sharks so a lot of my performance in this movie is my very real reactions to seeing these huge, hulking sharks coming at me. That’s pretty intense, fake or not.
Moore: I came in a few weeks after the rest of the cast who had already been working with the animatronic sharks in the water already. But when I did finally get to see the animatronic sharks we were using in this movie, I can tell you that they are scary to look at up close because they look so real. They move, they can turn, they swim, the shark’s mouths even move and their gums retract when they go to bite- it’s really creepy.
Question: Obviously, this isn’t a more serious kind of shark movie, like Jaws or Open Water was? Was that some of the appeal of this project to you? How fun do the deaths in the film get?
Moore: The reason why I think this got green-lit and has had a lot of buzz since the beginning is because of the concept of sharks making their way into a lake. The premise was based off of true events – not saying the movie is – but the idea of sharks invading a lake is something that I know happened after Katrina, where when the levees broke, sharks made their way into some of the lakes in the area because it’s easy feeding ground for them. There’s something scary about when nature runs amok and I think that’s what attracted all of us in the end- it was just something you hadn’t seen before and Shark Night was just a lot of fun for me to be a part of.
But considering this is a PG-13 movie, things don’t ever get too gnarly in the deaths, but I can say that you won’t be let down by the amount of shark consumption that happens throughout Shark Night. There’s still plenty of good kills here even if they’re not over the top and bloody.
Paxton: What I think is really fun about this shark movie is that there are a lot of different kinds of sharks so there are a lot of different ways for the characters to die. Usually you only see one kind of shark in a movie, and we have ten. So it’s definitely a fun kind of shark movie. Sure, there’s suspense in it, but I think the action adds a level of fun to it when you see it so there’s a lot to enjoy for everyone.
Question: Can you talk about your experience on working with director David Ellis on Shark Night?
Milligan: I think one of the most amazing things about this movie was the cast David put together. We’re all so young so I was kind of expecting to show up and see a lot of egos being thrown around on set, but everyone actually clicked together so well that Shark Night ended up being an exceptional experience for myself and I think everyone else who worked on it as well.
Moore: David comes from a second unit background so he’s always specialized in action sequences and keeping a good momentum in what he shoots. So when he took over as a director, his films tend to have a lot of action in them and Shark Night definitely carries on the action legacy of David Ellis. He didn’t want to cut corners on the action or the sharks because he understood that the money needed to be spent so the movie could deliver for fans.
Question: How challenging was it to work on Shark Night? It seems like a lot of the cast really likes keeping themselves busy in the horror genre- is there something that you may particularly enjoy about working within horror?
Milligan: Shark Night was a rough shoot for both Sara and I because we had the most stunts out of the entire cast because well, I guess you could say we got the most face time with these creatures out of everyone. And let me tell you, these sharks had real teeth in them and those teeth hurt like hell. Even though they were being controlled by a fantastic team on land, they’re still mechanical and would sometimes need some wrangling even though they were fake. I think we all came away with some cuts and bruises when we wrapped filming.
Paxton: For me, I always like a challenge and I don’t really think too much about whether or not something is a genre film or not when considering a role. With Shark Night, David Ellis contacted me because he liked my performance in Last House on the Left and he asked me to just give the script a read to see if I’d want to do the movie. And after reading the script, talking to David more, how could I turn it down?
And with something like The Innkeepers which is also making the rounds right now, again, it’s a totally different kind of character there, and it has a lot of comedy to it as well so that was a way to challenge myself in a completely different way again. I just want to keep challenging myself as an actress in as many different ways as I can, but I always love working in horror, too.
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