‘Terror runs deep’
Shark Bait is a 2022 action horror film about a group of friends marooned on a broken jet ski struggling to fend off voracious predators.
Directed by James Nunn (One Shot; The Marine 6: Close Quarters; The Marine 5: Battleground; Eliminators; Tower Block) from a screenplay written by Nick Saltrese.
Produced by Nadine Luque, Andy Mayson, Andrew Prendergast, Chris Reed and Mike Runagall.
The British movie stars Holly Earl (Once Upon a Time in London; Dracula: The Dark Prince), Jack Trueman, Catherine Amy Hannay, Malachi Pullar-Latchman (The Three Muskateers; Hounded; Open All Night) and Thomas Flynn (Little Fish).
A group of spring-breakers is enjoying a weekend in Mexico. After a big night of partying on the beach until dawn, the friends steal a couple of jet skis and take them out to sea, but end up in a horrific head-on collision.
After one of the jet skis sinks, the group finds itself stranded two miles from land on one remaining, broken-down jetski and struggling with a badly injured friend. With no clear way home and predators circling in the choppy waters below, the true horror begins…
Shark Bait is a slight improvement on the same producer’s bland Great White movie and its enhanced production values – especially Ben Moulden’s cinematography – is certainly welcome.
The film’s main problem lies with its airhead protagonists who drunkenly steal jet skis and duel with them thus placing themselves in danger of being marooned at sea, even before we see a shark fin twenty-nine minutes in. So, viewers have little to no sympathy for them. It’s their fault entirely that they are Shark Bait cos they are so dumb.
The other issue is the soap opera relationship drama that unfolds which is unnecessary and uninteresting. It comes as no surprise to find that screenwriter Nick Saltrese previously churned out scripts for British TV dross such as Eastenders, Holby City, Brookside and Emmerdale Farm. Yes, Tom ((Jack Trueman) is a rotter but do we care? Except… [spoiler] Meanwhile, his goody girlfriend Nat (Holly Earl) is telegraphed as the final girl right from the start [not a spoiler].
Things perk up slightly about an hour in when the shark starts attacking with more vigour and we get to see some of the anticipated chomping and red stuff but Shark Bait is mediocre overall.
“Shark Bait is another mediocre at best animal attack movie that adheres to countless tropes which plague the genre. It’s markedly better than the last few guppies but ain’t worth a trophy mount. It’s never as hoot-and-holler enjoyable as Shark Night 3D or terrifying as The Shallows. Shark Bait is an appetizer and not a very filling one…” 2/5 Bloody Disgusting
“While still not a really good movie, Shark Bait is well ahead of most recent killer shark films so fans of the genre may well have a good time with it. But for most others, its overly derivative plotting and unlikable characters will make it hard to resist fast-forwarding between the attacks.” 2/5 Voices from the Balcony
Cast and characters:
Holly Earl … Nat
Jack Trueman … Tom
Catherine Hannay … Milly
Malachi Pullar-Latchman … Tyler
Thomas Flynn … Greg
Manuel Cauchi … The Beggar
Joshua Takacs … Spring Breaker
Ludovica Loda … Beach party girl
Milo McDowell … Swimmer
Maxime Durand … Street Cleaner
Daniel Casingena … Beach Party guy
William Erazo Fernández … Barman
1 hour 27 minutes
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