An old man is enjoying a day of fishing until a whirlpool appears that is caused by a slight earthquake. He falls into the water and is devoured almost immediately by a horde of fish. Sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue) along with her colleague Deputy Fallon (Ving Rhames) are investigating the disappearance of the fisherman. They find the corpse and are baffled by the condition it's in. Later, they call in a team of seismologist divers to investigate the fissure and they make a startling discovery. -summary
I have to make it known that I abhor remakes for numerous reasons, and since I can't think of too many of them right now, I'll just stick with the most obvious; they usually suck, and they sometimes suck really bad, especially in the case of horror. In this day and age, the sophisticated style of horror which is meant to stimulate your imagination, and take you on a trip to the dark-side is usually lost, and replaced with the shock value which is only meant to gross out the viewer. The end product normally results in a hot mess, and the viewer normally chooses to forget what they just invested their time on. This style of horror is really simple to pull off, and this is pretty much what makes up the average horror movie today. Something real simple to appeal to the popcorn crowd. Piranha 3D is the living breathing definition of this type of soulless drivel, but I must admit that I had a bit of fun indulging in it.
Piranha 3D directed by Alexander Aja is actually the second remake of the original Piranha which was released in 1978. Although his direction appears to be terribly misguided, Aja delivered a fun chompity chomp chomp romp; packed with lots of T&A, lesbians, along with some nice bloody and brutal gore. The gore scenes make up for plenty of the films shortcomings, but my overall opinion of Aja's directing hasn't really changed. He's still a hack for the most part.
I thought the special effects were pretty cool only in regards to the death and mauling. This was actually an area the original needed improvement on. The viewer gets a front row seat for the maximum carnage when it gets there. These fish are very aggressive predators with one hell of a voracious appetite for fresh flesh. When they start munching, I actually felt the supposed comedy go right out the window. The death scenes are pretty disturbing, with people eaten damn near down to the very bone, with the fish pulling out a couple of eyeballs here and there. Yuck! But yummy too! I enjoyed the action scenes when the sheriffs were trying to fight them off, and one scene that I won't spoil was really cool, even though it kind of felt ripped from 28 Weeks Later.
Unfortunately, Aja can't really tell a story to save his life as the film suffers from a bad clashing of genres, erratic pacing, and at least one disposable side plot. I thought the plot during the first half was both hit and miss due to the pacing. There were some boring moments here and there, with the only interesting portion for me being the back story on the fish, which is quite different from the original and seems a bit more likely to me.
The setting takes place in a swimming resort during Spring Break with a whole bunch of college students. So you know what this means; lots of T&A, I mean way too much. Now, I have nothing against sexy women bodies, but there's adult dvd's, hookers, and mistresses for all that. Here, it presented a problem for me, I felt it heavily distracted from the horror element, and I was stuck between being either horrified or horny. That is not suppose to happen. I also really hated the sub plot concerning two children, who got themselves stranded on a little island. This was one useless story element, because we all know that there's a 99.99999999% chance that the kids are not going to die. So why even go there? Aja did assemble a pretty decent cast here, with other vets such as Christopher Lloyd and Richard Dreyfuss. Their roles were small, but at least they were in there, with Kelly Brook and Riley Steele providing the eye candy. The acting really wasn't bad to me, so no complaints here.
Despite my disdain for horror remakes, Piranha 3D wasn't really that bad of a movie. It definitely has problems but the death toll and misery made up for it in someways. I think this is one of the more decent remakes out there, and if you love T&A and gore, then this is for you, make no mistake about it. The movie has an 87 minute run time.
-Loads of gore, T&A
-T&A can be heavily distracting, pacing issues, unnecessary subplot
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