Starring Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, and Jerry O’Connell
Directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes)
Rated R for sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use
Appropriate for ages 18+
When an earthquake opens up an underwater cavern that has been sealed for millions of years, scores of prehistoric piranhas are unleashed upon unsuspecting teenagers as they party it up during spring break.
There is no disguising a movie like this. It is designed to be a b movie from start to finish. Every bit of it is completely tongue in cheek, complete with tons of senseless, silly violence, truckloads of fake blood, and oodles of naked and half-naked teenagers doing nothing but drinking, dancing and getting killed in terrible ways. It is heaven for the right audience and hell for those looking for a real horror film.
That being said it works really well as a comedy. I laughed harder here than at many of the other real comedies that have graced our screens this year. While I did find it a bit gross, I found it to be more entertaining due to the sheer ridiculousness of it and I’m certain this was planned by the filmmakers. While many are trying to compare it to Jaws, its only similarities are killer fish and Richard Dreyfus. There is very little in the way of suspense, great writing, fine acting, or true scares here. There could have been if they wanted, but the choice was made to make it into a carnival side show complete with 3D glasses which were there more for the nudity than for the pisces.
If this pic contained all of those great ingredients could it have been something more? Maybe. The backstory isn’t horrible and the right elements are there, but for pure entertainment value and dollar-making potential I think they made the right choice, even if it comes across as extremely crude and perverse.
Then again, it has the potential to be another Snakes on a Plane, relying more on a gimmick than a real moving narrative. C