FRENZY aka SURROUNDED (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘Survival is her only option’

Frenzy aka Surrounded is a 2018 American action horror thriller feature film directed by Jose Montesinos (Sinister Minister; Dream House Nightmare). The Shark Pack LD production stars Gina Vitori, Aubrey Reynolds, Taylor Jorgensen and Russell Geoffrey Banks.


A group of millennial friends run a popular travel vlog that helps fund their adventures. Paige (Gina Vitori), the leader of the group, recently brought her younger sister Lindsey (Aubrey Reynolds) into the fold. Lindsey and another group member strike up a romance, quickly becoming the most popular members to their followers.

To help boost viewership the group decides to take an illegal snorkelling trip to a beautiful cove. But when their float plane crashes they find themselves fighting for their lives when they are attacked by a pack of great white sharks…

Frenzy‘s a bit different from some of the other shark films that the Syfy channel often show. Make no mistake, the film does feature sharks. In fact, there are three very big sharks that swam through the ocean and eat just about anyone or anything that they could sink their teeth into. Not only do they eat people who were unfortunate enough to be floating out in the water but they also bumped up against boats, the better to knock poachers overboard. These are some mean sharks!

That said, they aren’t ghost sharks. They aren’t zombie sharks. None of them wears a little Santa cap on their fin, like Santa Jaws did. They weren’t mutated by radiation or a Big Evil Corporation. And certainly, they weren’t dropped into the ocean by a tornado. Nope, these were just normal, very big sharks.

And while the sharks were undoubtedly important to the story that Frenzy was telling, the film really wasn’t about them.  Instead, at its heart, Frenzy is the story of two sisters, Paige (Gina Vitori) and Lindsey (Aubrey Reynolds). Paige has always been the adventurous one while Lindsey has always been the one who rarely takes risks and who tries to play it safe. Paige has found fame as a travel vlogger. Along with Evan (Michael S. New), Kahia (Lanett Tachel) and Seb (Taylor Jorgensen), she travels around the world and she films herself doing dangerous things and having new experiences. When Lindsey joins Paige for her latest adventure, it seems like a chance for Lindsey to not only break out for her shell but to also find romance with Seb as well…

Of course, things never go quite as smoothly as they’re supposed to.  In this case, things go downhill as soon as Paige, Lindsey, and everyone else gets aboard a less-than-reliable seaplane so that they can go scuba diving.  When the plane crashes into the middle of the ocean, Lindsey and a few survivors are left floating in the water.  There’s an island in the distance but can they reach it before the sharks reach them?

Frenzy was definitely a change-of-pace, as far as Syfy shark movies are concerned.  While I wouldn’t say that you necessarily have to have a sister to truly appreciate Frenzy‘s story, it undoubtedly helps. The relationship between Paige and Lindsey — made up of equal parts love and rivalry — is at the heart of Frenzy and fortunately, both Aubrey Reynolds and Gina Vitori were totally believable as sisters. Their relationship, with all of its complications, felt real and, on a personal level. This film could have just as easily been called “Lisa And Erin Go On Vacation And Try Not To Die.”

Frenzy also made good use of its flashback structure. With Lindsey continually flashing back between the past and the present, we were kept off-balance as far as Lindsey’s current mental state was concerned. It’s a structure that required us to consider what was real, what was dreamed, and what was just a hallucination.

Lisa Marie Bowman, MOVIES and MANIA – Guest reviewer via Through the Shattered Lens

Other reviews:
“Despite a lot of rather enjoyable and engaging elements present here, this one still has a few minor issues which do hold it back just enough from being one of the finest upper echelon titles in the scene. Give this a chance if you’re annoyed at the continual cheesy low-budget genre fare or are looking for a fun, gripping effort…” Don Anelli, Don’s World of Horror and Exploitation

“The basic idea is good enough, the location is memorable (beside one of those tiny islands that looks as if it’s all balanced on a pebble), and you get to see the sharks more than you do in some other movies, for better or worse. It’s just a shame that the end result couldn’t rise above the level of average.” For It Is Man’s Number

“From character interaction to its action scenes, as much as it tries, Frenzy is never plausible. It’s basically a comedy where people cry instead of laughing. At its best, the movie offers thrilling and infernal underwater sequences. At its worst, it’s just another shark movie with computer-generated monsters made for television.” Steve Hutchison, Tales of Terror

“The characters themselves are vacuous and superficial except when clumsily expositing their ludicrously overwrought backstories. Having run out of its original character roster at about the two-thirds mark, the film finds itself forced to bring in a random pair of pleasure boaters just to pad out the running time. There’s no consistency or coherence to events here…” What the Craggus Saw


Choice dialogue:
[To the sharks]: “What are you doing? What are you doing? Oh, crap!”
“I had a raft. But the sharks ate it.”

Cast and characters:
Gina Vitori … Paige
Aubrey Reynolds … Lindsey – Sinister Minister; You May Now Kill the Bride; Cyborg X
Russell Geoffrey Banks … Captain – Who’s Watching Oliver; Ghost House; Pernicious
Lanett Tachel … Kahaiah
Michael S. New … Evan
Taylor Jorgensen … Sebastian

Fun facts:
As in Jaws: The Revenge, the sharks in Frenzy can be heard to roar! Clearly, sharks do not roar.

Great White (2021) has some plot similarities.

More sharks on MOVIES and MANIA

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