Ghost Shark (2013)

Ghost Shark (2013)

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How does a shark get into a bucket?
How does a shark get into a bucket?

Twitter Plot Summary: When an angry fisherman blows up a Great White Shark, it returns in ghostly form to seek revenge on humanity. Yeah…

Genre: Horror

Director: Griff Furst

Key Cast: Mackenzie Rosman, Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis, Sloane Coe, Jaren Mitchell, Richard Moll, Lucky Johnson, Tim Taylor, Shawn C. Phillips, Thomas Francis Murphy

Five Point Summary:

1. Rednecks on a boat. Bad idea. Awesome concept for a film, though.
2. The Jaws perspective shot right there… And the Chief Martin crash contrazoom… Kind of.
3. They keep saying it’s a shark, and the very black man (golly!) doesn’t believe them.
4. No, don’t wash that car! Don’t use that water slide! Don’t fix that sink! The ghost shark’ll get you!
5. The mayor goes out to sea to get the shark. This will no doubt end badly.

Once again we’re in familiar territory. Kind of. A shark is terrorising the small coastal town of Smallpoint and bumping off the locals. The difference here is that the shark is a supernatural creature, a ghost if you will. The reason why it’s a ghost? Because it was killed by rednecks on a boat and found its way into a cave which has mystical daubings on its walls, of course. Somehow, despite having no corporeal form it still has the ability to kill people yet can only manifest in water. Nobody really explains how or why, which is probably for the best. Cue a number of ridiculous situations where if the smallest amount of water is present, the shark can appear and wreak havoc. So what kind of silly situations have we got? Kids playing on a water slide, girls in bikinis washing a car, even a guy fixing a kitchen sink, the ghost shark can go anywhere there’s water. Let’s ignore the fact that humans are essentially made of water, otherwise the shark could literally appear from anywhere. Possible idea for a sequel right there.

The CGI looks bad, but the fact we’re dealing with a ghost shark makes it almost tolerable. Some of the gore effects, whilst terrible, don’t look as out of place as some other SyFy TV movie efforts, in fact they add to the cheese factor. When you see a girl in a bikini disappearing into a bucket, being devoured by a spectral fish, or a man foolishly drinking a cup of water and then being split in twain, you can either laugh or groan. I suggest laughing, it’s better for the soul.

Who'da thought this carefree activity could be so dangerous?
Who’da thought this carefree activity could be so dangerous?

Our core cast feature the obligatory “hunk” who’s actually more a geeky, “works at Google” type, two sisters in their teens/early 20s (whose dad is the fisherman killed in the opening scene), the gruff old man who apparently knows how to stop the attacks, and the obligatory black teenager and equally obligatory fat white teenager. There’s also the mayor, who almost talks in jive and doesn’t believe the reports about the shark attacks until it’s too late. Throwing in all the Jaws-related cliches it’s scripting by the numbers. Er, ignoring the fact it’s about a ghostly shark, of course – that little element does permit a certain element of fun to the type of situations that can elicit a shark attack. On the positive side, Richard Moll gets to partake in some fine angry acting, screaming and shouting in an acting style clearly borrowed from the William Shatner School for Hammy Acting.

Unlike Sharknado it lacks most of the self awareness that made the said tornado-featuring movie so much fun. Both are played completely straight, but it’s like the difference between Robin Hood: Men In Tights and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. That’s probably a bad comparison come to think of it, but in any case, one is intentionally funny and the other is accidentally funny (Brian Blessed and Alan Rickman in one film? Kevin Costner’s American accent as Robin Hood? Yeah, right). Ghost Shark mostly falls into the “accidentally funny” camp – it’s po-faced and serious until people die, then the silliness kicks in. With a core concept this ridiculous the filmmakers need to be as in on the joke as the audience, and on the whole I don’t think director Griff Furst manages to get that across, he seems stuck halfway between trying to rip off Jaws and trying to amuse the audience. As a result it suffers from tonal inconsistency and is isn’t quite the cheese-fest you might have been expecting. Still, despite the fact it’s mostly mundane and the whole effort to explain why the shark came back as a vengeful spirit is pointless, there are a few redeeming qualities. Enjoy on a bad film night, in those simple terms it’s a cracker.

Favourite scene: The shark manifests in the pipes connecting a kitchen sink and eats the plumber fixing it. Daft.

Quote: “Revenge? You think I’m worried ’bout revenge? I don’t want revenge, I want justice.” And another classic – “In order to kill it, you gotta be willin’ to dahhh!”

Silly Moment: It’s a film about a ghostly shark, the whole film is silly.

Score: 2/5

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