Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Bait (2012)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Kimble Rendall
Starring: Richard Brancatisano, Xavier Samuel and Chris Betts
Writers: Shayne Armstrong, Duncan Kennedy

Sharks are scary. They’re a primordial terror that seems to just get under the skin of many people. The sheer terror of movies like Jaws has stopped people from wanting to swim in the ocean. As an Australian I’ve also fielded plenty of questions from friends overseas about our deadly seas and sharks. People are fascinated by the thing that terrifies them. So you can imagine the excitement that some might have for all the shark movies coming out, not to mention excited for this movie Bait that places them in the country many think are their home, Australia.

Unfortunately for us the movie, like many recent shark movies (I’m looking at you Shark Night), is a bit of a miss. The core problem is that Bait doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Plot wise the movie lends itself to a goofiness that could have been joyous. A tsunami hits a coastal Australian town and some unlucky people find themselves trapped in a flooded supermarket that is now home to massive great white sharks. How can you not have fun with that?

Taking itself seriously would be the answer. Sure, there are moments where the goofiness and camp can’t be contained, but Bait desperately wants to be taken seriously. It feels weird to say, but I think there was way too much character development for this shark flick; though I was grateful that most of the characters were likable in their own way.

Imagine this in 3D! Ooooo scary!
Another weird thing about the film is the body count is ridiculously low, which seems to stem from the fact that Bait wants us to be invested in the character drama. Unfortunately it’s difficult to get into that frame of mind when the deaths are so bloody. It doesn’t help that a lot of the effects are very cheap and, this being filmed in 3D, now exceptionally immersion breaking.

In the beginning I saw some great camp fun but it quickly whittled down to just a painful viewing experience. I couldn’t get into it and when the last line of the movie was uttered I just wanted to flip off the TV. All in all; a major disappointment.  At least I’ll always have Jaws and Deep Blue Sea.

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