Avalanche Sharks (2013)

Avalanche Sharks (2013)

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Just as silly as this looks.
Just as silly as this looks.

Twitter Plot Summary: Ghostly sharks are unleashed on an unsuspecting ski resort. Yeah, that’s about it.

Five Point Summary:

1. Ghostly sharks. On a mountain. In the snow.
2. Evil Dead “Deadite” cam!
3. Think this was already silly? Wait until the guy starts talking about love…
4. Why won’t you die?!
5. It had to happen, it was… inevitable.

Some ideas sound far better on paper than the reality. Such is the case with Avalanche Sharks, a film whereby ghostly sharks are unleashed on a mountain top and start eating their way through the ski dudes and dudettes who happen to be in the area. You see, somebody has disturbed some sacred sticks (or something – does it really matter?) and unleashed a number of ghostly sharks upon the unsuspecting populace. It’s up to the usual band of unlikely heroes to put a stop to this ludicrous premise.

Whilst the acting and the script is slightly suspect (and that’s being pleasant, sadly), the direction is surprisingly competent – there are a number of really good shots and choice of angles that belie the low budget and frankly ridiculous story. It almost feels like an A-list director has stepped down to film something on par with the best that the SyFy channel’s TV movies can provide. That is perhaps the only genuinely pleasant thing I can say about the entire production.

The narrative is very similar to Ghost Shark, the only difference being that the sharks are on a mountain rather than a small coastal town. Apart from that difference they could easily be companion pieces, although Ghost Shark has much more fun with the concept. In this case there is the usual sheriff/randoms conflicting with the Mayor who insists the ski resort stay open despite the numerous deaths, lest the town loses money. The acting may be generally sub-par, but in fairness to the actors they’re working with very limited material – each character is a basic cipher lacking personality or depth. The closest anybody comes to having any purpose is the Asian skier who aids in the film’s resolution despite her involvement coming out of nowhere. The central characters we’re supposed to care about? Nope, not a jot of interest in them.

Still just as silly...
Still just as silly…

The effects are also less competent than what we had in Ghost Shark, although in a few instances they’re mildly competent. You’ve also got the mostly nonsensical script to contend with, it’s yet another example of showing characters make completely illogical decisions without rhyme or reason, and it’s amazing that anybody survives to see the end. At least there are a few legitimately amusing moments, and some of the dialogue is intentionally funny rather than accidentally so. Admittedly on occasion it’s hard to tell the difference. This isn’t exploited as well as it might have been, and leaves the overall production somewhere towards the middle of the SyFy TV movie entertainment scale – a couple of good bits but nothing to write home about.

You should know exactly what you’re setting yourself up for from the title alone, yet there’s a perverse pleasure to be had in watching in silly films like this. Whilst it may be no classic, Avalanche Sharks does at least represent the next step in the creature feature genre – we’ve had normal creatures, giant creatures, prehistoric creatures. Now as we move into the supernatural creature feature, there’s only one way to go. Sideways – never up.

Score: 1.5/5

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