From there, it’s a race against time to stop the piranha before they get to the heavily-inhabited lakeside areas. It’s particularly important for Paul because his young daughter is staying at a camp near the lake — and there’s also a new lakeside resort opening further down the lake shore. Maggie and Paul’s task is not easy but it gets even more difficult when the military show up and try to silence them before they can warn anyone else.
The above synopsis is a solid formula for aquatic mayhem — and Dante and crew deliver on everything it promises. However, Piranha rises above the pack because it goes about its task in an intelligent, lovingly crafted way. The basis of its savvy approach is a smart script by first-time screenwriter (and future indie-film icon) John Sayles that layers the storyline with quirky, well-drawn characters that charm the viewer into caring about them. Thus, when the monster-fish attacks kick in, it’s a pleasant surprise how dramatically involving it is because the audience is invested in these oddball heroes.