Directed by David R. Ellis
Distributed by Fox Home Entertainment
Director David R. Ellis is a tricky one. He’s nearly schizophrenic in terms of his directing style. On one side you have the director of Final Destination 2, which still stands as the best and nastiest of the franchise, and then you have the director of The Final Destination, which stands as the worst and stupidest of the franchise. Somewhere in between the two you have the director of Snakes on a Plane, who lovingly embraced the ridiculousness of a concept and as a result turned out one hell of an entertaining film. So who showed up to direct Shark Night? First a brief recap!
Sara (Paxton) and her mix and match assortment of friends (the hottie, the black guy, the jock, the cool geek, etc.) head out to her parents’ Louisiana lake house for a good time when all of sudden our band of cliches realize that the lake is teeming with hungry sharks of nearly every variety. Limbs are lost. Explosions occur. Oh, and there’s lots of screaming and a quickie Faces of Death style plot twist so absolutely ludicrous that it nearly defies words.
Who could handle such material? Thankfully it was the Snakes on a Plane style David R. Ellis who showed up for the task. Shark Night never takes itself seriously. I mean, how could it. As a result we get a for the most part fun and fast sliver of turn-your-brain-off entertainment. The only real problem here is it’s missing a key ingredient … carnage. Come on, guys! There are dozens of sets of carnivorous teeth strewn about your film. Give them something to bite into. The PG-13 rating really hurts the flick, and sadly there’s no unrated goodness to be found in the home video package either. Still, any movie that would send a one-armed black guy carrying a spear out to tango with a man-eating fish is okay with us.
Time for a bit of redundancy. Yes, the Blu-ray looks and sounds better than its DVD cousin. Can that just be par for the course from here on out? The 1080p transfer is as sharp as can be with colors that pop, skin tones that are dead on, and even the night scenes look pretty friggin’ amazing. The 5.1 DTS-HD score is a delight and the perfect complement to the quality of the image presented here. Sadly, there is no 3D version of the movie available in the States on either Blu-ray or DVD.
In terms of special features the Blu-ray also takes the cake but only by a few crumbs. Basically we get a Shark Attack! Kill Machine! feature that lets you skip immediately to your favorite kills, a back-patting and amusing featurette called Ellis’ Island, in which the cast members discuss the director, and that’s it. The Blu-ray has those features present and accounted for along with Shark Night’s Survival Guide, which is a lighthearted look at what you can do to keep yourself from becoming chum, and the behind-the-scenes featurette Fake Sharks Real Scares, which is pretty much your standard making-of.
In the end Shark Night is a feisty and enjoyable little package that you’re guaranteed to get a few laughs and cheap thrills out of. Do yourself a favor, too, and sit through the end credits. Seeing the actors lay down a gangsta rap about the film is way more amusing than anything else included here. Seriously … it’s amazing.
3 out of 5
3 out of 5