Earlier this week, when we published our preview of horror flicks due out this fall, we had this to say about 'Shark Night 3D':
"Are We Excited? Absolutely. We were oddly charmed by the sheer absurdity and gobs of gore and gratuitous nudity in 'Piranha 3D,' so we're crossing our fingers that the makers of 'Shark Night' follow that game plan. Of course, it could be utterly terrible too. This one doesn't have Jerry O'Connell, after all."Well, it appears that the makers of 'Shark Night' did NOT follow that plan. Forgive us, but we overlooked one simple factor that would have drastically changed that blurb: 'Shark Night' is, for some exceedingly strange reason, rated PG-13, unlike the very, very, extremely R-rated 'Piranha,' which we liked so much. Yes, it's an oversight on our part, but please understand, this is what we were first told about 'Shark Night':
A sexy summer weekend turns into a blood-soaked nightmare for a group of college students trapped on an island surrounded by voracious underwater predators in 'Shark Night 3D,' a terrifying thrill ride from director David Ellis ('The Final Destination,' 'Snakes on a Plane')."Sexy." "Blood-soaked." "College students." "Voracious underwater predators." The director of 'Snakes on a [Motherf*cking] Plane.'
Does that sound PG-13 to you?
Y'see, we didn't like 'Piranha' for its nuanced storytelling or well-rounded characters or crackling dialogue or Meryl Streep. No. What we liked about 'Piranha' was its unabashed celebration of on-screen sex, gore and profanity. When we bought our ticket, we wanted to see severed body parts (link NSFW, but memorable and hysterical) and nubile 20-somethings in bathing suits screaming in terror at the monstrous beasts devouring them -- and 'Piranha' delivered in spades.
Wouldn't you know it? 'Piranha' scored an impressive 74 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It made $83 million at the box office (on a $24 million-dollar budget). It's even getting a sequel, the perfectly named 'Piranha 3DD.'
Those are three things that 'Shark Night' has next to no chance at achieving -- and the reason is obvious: the PG-13 rating.
Who's going to want to go see a movie that's basically 'Piranha' minus all the fun parts? Do they think parents are going to want to take their kids to see this?
The film's biggest star is probably Katherine McPhee (sorry, Donal Logue), who, sad to say, isn't the only reality-TV "star" headlining 'Shark Night.' 'Piranha,' on the other hand, featured (relative) megastars like Richard Dreyfuss, Elizabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd and the hilarious Adam Scott -- all of whom, we presume, signed on because of the prospect of getting eaten by thousands of bloodthirsty, fanged fish in memorably gory fashion.
Now, perhaps we're wrong here. We haven't seen 'Shark Night' yet. It hasn't been screened for critics -- we wonder why! -- and we suppose there's the very slight possibility that it won't be unbearably terrible. Hey, we figured 'Piranha' might be awful too -- but we knew that at least we'd be able to smile at all the horrible things happening to all the beautiful bodies in their skimpy swimwear. Hell, we'd rather spend 90 minutes just looking at this poster than sit through the toothless (heh) 'Shark Night':
Tell us: Are we missing something? Should we give 'Shark Night' a chance?