review for Shark Night on AllMovie

Shark Night (2011)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

It was bound to happen -- reality TV has invaded the shark genre. With Shark Night, the villain wants to make a buck by strapping a camera onto killer sharks and selling the subsequently captured gruesome footage to hardcore viewers of The Discovery Channel's Shark Week -- yes, that is the plot. Add in bikinis, a sped-up music-video style, PG-13 torture, and you basically have Shark Night -- or Shark Night 3D as originally billed. As for the 3D presentation, let's just say that its nighttime aesthetics don't lend too well to darkened projection. In the end, it all amounts to a pretty crummy time, even for forgiving shark-flick fanatics.

The "fun" begins when a group of college kids head to a cabin that their friend Sara (played by Sara Paxton) owns. As it happens, all is not well on this lake, since Sara left some unfinished business behind in the lakeside community, starting with the town's bad boy, Dennis (Chris Carmack); seems that the two were once a thing until Dennis almost let Sara drown, after which she unknowingly sliced up his face with a propeller (!). The situation takes another bad turn once members of the group start to be munched on by different varieties of CGI sharks in the salt-water lake. Scooby Doo-style villains are unmasked, a guy gets chomped on while perched on a jet ski by a Great White the size of a Buick, and somehow, the whole near-bloodless affair lacks any kind of charm. Only when a one-armed football player punches a hammerhead does the drama loosen up to elicit some silly laughs, so look forward to that if/when you see it.