Shark Bait (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Shark Bait (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on May 18th, 2022 | Movie Review |

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A movie about a bunch of dumb kids who steal jet-skis while drunk and find themselves lost in the middle of the ocean and at the mercy of hungry sharks.

Shark Bait was directed by James Nunn and stars Holly EarlJack TruemanCatherine Amy HannayMalachi Pullar-LatchmanThomas Michael FlynnManuel CauchiJoshua Takacs, and Maxime Durand.

Terror runs deep.

Shark Bait (2022)

James Nunn's Shark Bait is not a good movie, but it is better than most other movies about sharks that have been released recently, like Great White (2021) or The Requin (2022). It is possible to make a more exciting movie about sharks than Shark Bait with just a phone camera, an inflatable pool, and a shark puppet. Since the release of Deep Blue Sea 3 in 2020, there has been a renewed interest in shark-based cinema. Shark Bait is a gore-filled movie with decent special effects that rise above other similar independent films. The movie does not have any distinguishing features, but it is a well-made film nonetheless.

The main difference between The Reef and Open Water and Shark Bait is the characters' isolation in the ocean. In Shark Bait, five people on spring break steal two jet skis and ride them a long way out into the Mexican coastline, where they collide while messing around. One of the vehicles sinks, and Greg breaks his leg severely, his exposed bone surrounded by saltwater, and Tyler might have a concussion. After that, there is no sign of land in any direction. The news that her boyfriend Tom has been unfaithful comes as a shock to Kansas girl Nat, who then has to deal with the aggressive shark that turns up. The three will have to sort out their emotions while coping with this new development.

The proliferation of independent horror films has resulted in several cheaply made aquatic horror films that feature poorly animated sharks. The Shallows and 47 Meters Down can get away with this due to their larger budgets, but Shark Bait cannot replicate this level of quality.

It's possible that the studio learned from its mistakes after receiving critical acclaim for "47 Meters Down" and then criticism for "Great White." Director Nunn's action experience and the special effects team's efforts don't match up to computer-generated perfection in "The Shallows," but I dare say that the glimpses of "Shark Bait" don't look too bad. The moments where the shark tries to bite everyone on the jet ski but can't because of the fiberglass hull are its weakest visual shots. Instead, we see scenes similar to those in The Requin or Great White when water splashes, snouts thrash, and the poorly rendered CGI shark ruins the atmosphere, which looks unnatural. However, in other scenes, Nunn uses darkening seabed depths or frantic quick cuts to make the film more realistic.

It's not easy to convince audiences that characters are dumb enough to get themselves stuck in shark-infested waters, but Nick Saltrese gives it a shot. His drunken partygoers ignore warnings and steal rentable vehicles, only to crash them miles from shore. It's challenging to sustain the arguing and bickering when you're stranded, and things often turn out exactly as you'd expect. So, of course, Nat is now stuck on a small boat with her cheating boyfriend and their friend, his last sexual partner. This soap opera tactic is foolish because Shark Bait isn't some great Renaissance epic. Nor are survival instincts anything but irrational because plots must advance — or, more correctly, the shark must endanger victims to make the story more exciting. The actors' performances aren't horrendous, but Shark Bait is full of clichés and does not attempt to be anything more than average.

Why does the shark keep attacking? How did Nat's tourists get so far away from shore on jet skis? Why do the dummies keep splitting up? Because you watch shark movies for the scenes where the shark is attacking! No matter how filmmakers try to entice the shark with food.

Although Shark Bait has its pitfalls, the visuals are stunning, featuring deep aqua blues and electric bathing suit colors, so the movie isn't ugly. And surprisingly, the wounds inflicted by the shark are much more gruesome than expected. A character's death, in which they are clutching another person and their body is submerged below the waist in a cloud of red, is very extreme and graphic. This is very appealing to fans of horror movies that enjoy seeing gore. Other moments in the film involving people swimming and panicked, unrealistic movements remind viewers of the film's quality. However, that extreme gore scene is still delightful, despite the heavy visual effects. Shark Bait's best moments shine brightly, but its clichés and pitfalls are among the worst.

Worth Watching?

Shark Bait is another average at best animal attack movie that sticks to countless genre-plaguing tropes. It's markedly better than the last few but isn't anything special. Although Shark Bait isn't as exciting as Shark Night 3D or as scary as The Shallows, it's still a fun movie to watch. So again, it's not the best shark movie out there, but it's worth watching if you're a fan of the genre.

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