Bait 3D

WRITTEN BY: John Kim, Russell Mulcahy
DIRECTED BY: Kimble Rendall
STARRING: Xavier Samuel, Martin Sacks, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Phoebe Tonkin, Lincoln Lewis, Dan Wyllie.
RATING: 3.5 stars

Remember the cute Asian kid Data (Jonathan Ke Quan) in The Goonies? There is one scene in Bait 3D where it felt like I was watching that kid all grown up and still making odd inventions. We're all aware of shark suits, but what about one made out of a shopping trolley? Well that's just one of the outrageous things we are presented with in Bait 3D. If you love shark films, you'll probably love Bait 3D. It's not a good film, but it is certainly an enjoyable film. There is everything you expect from a shark film - namely, attractive people being killed off one by one in inventive ways - and in this film, it all happens in a supermarket. Brilliant.

Set on the east coast of Australia, Bait 3D tells the story of a group of people trapped in a supermarket and it's underground car park after a freak tsunami traps the shoppers with two massive Great White sharks. Among those stranded is former lifeguard Josh (Xavier Samuel) who is mourning the death of his best friend to a shark a year earlier, which resulted in a break up with his fiancé Tina (Sharni Vinson). There is also a policeman named Todd (Martin Sacks) and his shoplifting daughter Jaimie (Phoebe Tonkin), armed robber Doyle (Julian McMahon) and a slightly psychotic man named Kirby (Dan Wyllie), as well as a few others.

My main criticism of the film is the awful acting. I understand that in this type of film the acting is allowed to be terrible, but not to the extent that it is distracting. When someone's partner is killed by a shark and they overact with their screams, it's fun and funny. But, when the actors appear awkward, that just puts the audience off. I also had a problem with the accents. I couldn't tell if the characters were American or Australian because just about everyone jumped between accents at some stage, except for Sacks who was perhaps the only one actually acting in this film. My other problem with this film was that there were to many characters and too many survivors. I would have liked a little more character development and more gruesome deaths.

In some ways, it's a shame that so many modern day shark films seem more like spoof films than horror films. It's as if film-makers think there's no way to compete with Jaws and so they have no choice but to make a B-grade film. I am in no way critical of these films because bad shark films are to me what bad zombie films are to other people. But, it would be nice to see a serious film about sharks that can scare you without making you laugh at its ridiculousness. Sharks are a very real threat, and they do scare people, so why not have more films that explore that truth?

Despite, my criticisms of the film, Bait 3D doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. It's funny, ridiculous and suspenseful - everything you want in a shark film. So, just enjoy it.