Ghost Shark (2013)

REVIEW BY: Jeffrey Long


Company: Active Entertainment

Runtime: 84 mins

Format: T.V.

Plot: When reckless rednecks on a fishing trip kill a great white shark, its spirit comes back for revenge, and soon turns its sights on the nearby town of Smallport, where this 'ghost shark' can now hunt wherever there's water - both in the sea as well as on land.

Review: To say that shark movies are a very tired and overdone corner of the B-Movie market would be one of the biggest understatements in the history of mankind. On the surface, Ghost Shark may seem like a new and unique entry in that overcrowded corner, and while that is true to an extent for reasons I'll get to later, when you dig deeper into it, it really isn't a whole lot different from any number of the other low budget shark-themed B-Movies.


Stripping away the whole supernatural angle and taking Ghost Shark to its basics, we've seen this movie before, dozens upon dozens of times. A large killer man-eating shark wanders into a town that is not quite accustomed to such things, on the eve of some big town-wide celebrations, and those that know about the danger (in this case it is a group of cardboard cookie cutter teens that we get in almost all of these movies, with the exact same diverse personalities as in all of these) are running around town like crazy people, being ignored and threatened to remain quiet by the town officials such as the Sheriff, Mayor, ect for fear of causing a panic during one of their popular times of year, and ultimately the teens have to take matters into their own hands if they want to save their town. Seriously, if you've seen one of these shark movies you've literally seen them all.

However, I'd also be lying if I said that the supernatural spin they add to it didn't make me forget about all that, at least for portions of the movie, and didn't result in a decently fun ride. The one main area where this movie sets itself slightly above the pack are the really fun and unique death scenes, which could not have been accomplished had it not been for the fact that the killer animal here is indeed the evil vengeful spirit of a shark as opposed to a flesh and blood creature, and with that comes a whole new set of rules for it – it can move about in any water in the area, not just the ocean. And by any water I mean things such as circling around someone in a bathtub (in a scene that slightly reminded me of a similar scene from the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie), its fin coming up from a paved street where water sprinklers are set, appearing on a slip-and-slide while someone races down it, having an all-you-can-eat buffet of sexy young girls in bikinis at a car wash, being drank through a coffee cup only to rip the person apart from the inside, launching out of a toilet, and even capable of gliding through the sky during a thunderous rainstorm. And that's only a portion of some of the shark attack scenes offered by this movie! With a new attack scene seemingly every few minutes, this movie is full of cheer-worthy cheesy moments of spectral shark goodness and it goes a long way, like I said above, to making you forget just how mundane and paint-by-numbers the actual plot and characters really are. 


The movie also benefits from the fact that the effects seem quite above-average for such an affair as this. With the shark being a simple see-through spirit, I expected the level of detail on that thing to be next to zilch, yet to my surprise, the level of detail (in addition to the quality itself) was some of the best I've ever seen in a made-for-TV B-Movie, beating out (by far) the level of detail on most low budget CGI physical sharks from any other SyFy Channel Original. In addition to that, the bright glistening blue glow and accompanying sound effect of when the shark was around (an almost whistling kind of noise) were both excellent touches that weren’t exactly needed, but I'm really glad they were included.

The one thing I wasn't glad was included though, was the character of the crazy old man that everyone is nervous around but who seems to have all the answers to everything going on in the movie. Seeing as how the Scooby-Doo gang of teens went to the museum and spoke with a local historian (in addition to some other things in the movie), they pretty much found out most of what they needed to know on their own anyway, and mostly all this character did was reiterate stuff that both we as the audience, in addition to the characters, either already knew or would be finding out on their own again shortly after anyway. He also came with a pointless subplot of longing for his dead wife who still roams around the area as a ghost. It leads nowhere at all, adds nothing more to the movie, and if anything it just took time and momentum away from the main meat of the movie. In my opinion, neither him nor his subplot was needed at all. 


Crazy old man subplot aside though, while Ghost Shark retreads overly-familiar ground with the same basic cardboard cut-out characters, it manages to do so in a unique and fresh way that allows you to forget, at least temporarily, that you've seen this exact movie a dozen times before, while adding an extra layer of fun small touches that is not required or often seen in these types of movies, but is very much appreciated when it is done. 

As far as fun, cheesy, stay-in-and-watch-on-a-rainy-Saturday-night made for SyFy Channel B-Movies go, you can do a hell of a lot worse then Ghost Shark. 

6/10 rooms in the Psych Ward



Comments

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