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Shark Night (Blu-ray / DVD)



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Shark Night on Blu-ray and DVDStarring Joel David Moore, Katharine McPhee, Sara Paxton

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.

Special Features:

  • Shark Attack! Kill Machine!
  • Ellis’ Island featurette
  • Shark Night’s Survival Guide featurette (Blu-ray only)
  • Fake Sharks Real Scares featurette (Blu-ray only)
  • Digital Copy (Blu-ray only)


    3 out of 5

    Special Features

    3 out of 5

    Discuss Shark Night in the comments section below!

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    Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror



    Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

    Directed by James S. Brown

    We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

    Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

    Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

    As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

    With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

    8 out of 10.

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    Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time



    Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

    Directed by Warren Speed

    The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

    An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

    Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

    Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

    Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

    • Film
    User Rating 2.94 (17 votes)
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    The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods



    Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

    Directed by Martin Gooch

    Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

    In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

    Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

    Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

    • Film


    Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

    User Rating 3.56 (18 votes)
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