If that’s your thing — and as a member of the “Jaws” generation, I have no shame in admitting it is — you’re going to have a blast. Where else will you see underwear-clad “American Idol” alum Katharine McPhee getting ripped to shreds?
Now on Blu-ray minus the 3-D effects its slim audience had in theaters, “Shark Night” takes Sara (Sara Paxton, “The Last House on the Left”) and six of her college pals to her family’s Lake Crosby manse for a weekend of drinking, tanning, boating and, eventually, serving as fourthmeal for saltwater creatures that shouldn’t be there. Whether it’s the black one (Sinqua Walls, “Savage County“), the nerdy one (Joel David Moore, “Chillerama“) or the slutty one (the aforementioned and tatted-up McPhee), the sharks are not picky.
Neither am I, when it comes to the works of stuntman-turned-director David R. Ellis. With “Cellular,” “Snakes on a Plane” and all the even-numbered “Final Destination” sequels under his belt, it would be easy to dismiss him as a maker of schlock. He’s a maker of schlock that works, that’s self-aware, that asks you to laugh along with instead of at it. For Ellis, a sense of humor is as important as suspense; witness “Shark Night” being co-written by “Best Week Ever” vet Will Hayes, or better yet, the post-credits rap video from Dustin Milligan (“The Entitled“), who stars in the movie opposite Paxton as the pre-med student harboring a serious crush.
The reason for the sharks being in a Louisiana lake is absolutely ludicrous, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Among the flick’s antagonists, pay particular attention to the redneck Red, played with missing-teeth flair by Joshua Leonard (“Bitter Feast“). Not one minute of “Shark Night” will tax your brain, but almost all 91 of it will activate its pleasure sensors, if only you let it. —Rod Lott