“DONT. GET. WET.” (sic)
Directed by Griff Furst
Starring Mackenzie Rosman, Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis and Richard Moll
When drunken rednecks attack and kill a shark, the fish returns in spirit form to devour them, the captain of their boat and then … well, pretty much everyone who gets in its way. A group of teens get attacked by the ghost shark and must race to discover the magical secret of the shark’s reappearance with the aid of a drunken old lighthouse keeper (Night Court‘s Richard Moll).
What’s wrong with it?
It’s terrible on pretty much every level. Even allowing for its demented premise, its storytelling makes no sense. Its effects are pretty weak sauce, its pacing is clumsy, its characterisation is nonexistent (The Fat One, The Young One, The Black One, The Main One, The Boyfriend) and its resolution is anticlimactic.
What’s right with it?
Ghost Shark has two things going for it:
- It commits to its bonkers premise in a series of visually-inventive ways. The ghost shark can appear anywhere there’s water, so it manifests in the water of a police-station water cooler, then busts out from inside a detective who drinks the water, rending him in half. It snaps the upper bodies off two little kids, and their legs keep running. It grabs a guy while he’s on the bog, and then his legs pop up from the bottom of the screen like he’s being folded in half. With the exception of the first one, the shark attacks look like an eight-year-old described them to his older sibling who had access to the cheapest animation program.
- And then … and this is the key point … everyone else plays these things completely straight. Like, they gawk at the shark emerging from a detective as if its terrifying rather than absurd. It’s terrific. One wink and the whole edifice would have fallen apart completely.
How bad is it really?
It’s enjoyable. It’s definitely a drunken, throw-popcorn-at-the-screen kind of bad movie — and it objectively terrible — but it knows what it is and goes for it. It still didn’t have to have such boring, flat performances or such a dumb script.
Best bit (if such there is)?
Definitely the shark attack where the shark spirit bites the upper bodies off two little kids and their legs keep running, blood fountaining from their waists. It’s both totally ludicrous and legitimately kind of shocking.
What’s up with…?
- A couple taking bottles of hot sauce and a hand grenade on a fishing trip?
- The mayor telling the police chief to put a bounty on sharks “but keep it quiet?” That’s … not how bounties work.
- The shark, wounded and dying, suddenly swimming to the weird CGI magic cave?
- The shark’s body being bright blue later on? Not the ghost, the body.
[each out of 20]
Production values Shit CGI and one or two not-bad locations. 13
Dialogue and performances Dia-bloody-bolical. 15.
Plot and execution Workmanlike at best, slack at worst. 14.
Randomness A little bit, yeah. 18.
Waste of potential Possibly the best ghost-shark-hunting-teenagers movie ever? 8.