12 DAYS OF TERROR (2004) Reviews and overview

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‘Based on the terrifying true events that inspired Jaws.’

12 Days of Terror is a 2004 American historical reenactment of a series of shark attacks that occurred in New Jersey in 2016.

Directed by Jack Sholder (Arachnid; Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies; The HiddenA Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s RevengeAlone in the Dark) from a teleplay co-written by Jeffrey Reiner (Small Time; Blood and Concrete) and Tommy Lee Wallace (director of Vampires: Los Muertos; Fright Night Part 2; Halloween III: Season of the Witch) based on a book by Richard Fernicola.

“For those that like a good period film, or can’t get enough of Discovery’s ‘Shark Week’, then 12 Days of Terror is for you. I found it a low budget, no star power, much watered-down footnote to the Jaws franchise.” The Armchair Critic

“Though the events of 12 Days of Terror predate Jaws, the film itself does not, so it all seems a bit familiar. And although there are some enjoyable retro moments that set 12 Days of Terror apart, I found myself wanting the filmmakers to do just a little more with the historical setting.” The Creature Feature Bleachers


” …a competently made film that grows increasingly dull when it should be increasingly tense. For a movie called 12 Days of Terror, there’s absolutely no terror to be found. Most of the shark attacks happen off-camera and consist of little more than people screaming and thrashing about as the water turns blood red.” Dread Central

“Simply put, it’s the most basic, Cliff’s Notes version of this story imaginable, with a little bit of manufactured drama ladled on top to almost no effect. Even the stuff that should be exciting, like the shark attacks, are pretty dull. To the film’s credit, it tries to minimize outbursts of cheap effects, keeping to unsightly CGI confined to a few shots here and there.” Oh, the Horror!

” ….the finale here with the characters trying to kill the shark in a rickety old boat seems to have been fabricated to add a little bit of excitement. This begs the question: if the writers were going to take liberty with the outcome, why not take liberties with a few other parts of the film too? Either keep it realistic or bling it up with gore and shark attacks!” Popcorn Pictures

“The gore contrasts with the sobriety of what we expect from a period piece. When it comes to the red stuff, 12 Days of Terror is atypical. Everything about this movie, down to the photography, the acting, and the score, makes us believe we’re in the 1910s. This may not be the film you want to watch on shark week, but something tells me it’s exactly what the creators set out to deliver.” Tales of Terror

” …we’re treated to a pretty underwhelming finale that offers mild attempts at thrills (which, not surprisingly, riff on Jaws) and passable shark effects […] Playing out as more of a drama than horror movie, 12 Days of Terror makes for an okay timewaster…” The Video Graveyard


Main cast and characters (in credits order):

Colin Egglesfield … Alex
Mark Dexter … Stanley
Jenna Harrison … Alice
John Rhys-Davies … Captain
Jamie Bartlett … Michael Schleisser
Adrian Galley … Engle
Colin Stinton … Doctor John Nichols
Roger Dwyer … Doctor Frederick Lucas
Patrick Lyster … Mayor Perillo
Nigel Sweet … Murphy
Paul Ditchfield … Commissioner Meel
Daniel Kriel … Lester Stillwell
Craig Geldenhuys … Arnie
David Jeffery David Jeffery … Charles
Glen Biderman-Pam … Johnny
Andrew Whaley … Mr Stillwell
Adrienne Pearce … Mrs Stillwell
Jean Michel Joubert … Danny Bruder
Richard Farmer … Frank Mulsoff
Lourens Smith … Red Burlew
Warrick Grier … Arthur Smith

Filming locations:

Cape Town, South Africa

Technical details:

87 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1


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