Impressions: Ghost Shark

I am always a bit hesitant when reviewing these types of movies. I have spoken openly in the past about not liking that the “so bad it’s good” variety of creature features have taken over the market. I also think that “so bad it’s good” movies require a little effort to be entertaining and, well, not just bad. The majority of these quickly slapped together SyFy level originals don’t put that effort in, and it shows.

Still, these movies generally have a few moments, and it’s hard to pass up the premise of a ghost shark that can appear in any water.

So the movie starts following a sports fisherman who has chartered a boat. He thinks he has a big catch, but when a shark eats it, he goes into a bit of a rage and attacks the shark, who dies in a cave. The shark comes back as a ghost shark and kills all on board. The owner/captain of the boat has two daughters who discover it adrift and begin to worry. The ghost shark appears and kills a friend, and thus beings the movie. It is discovered that the shark can appear in any water to take form and kill. This ranges from pools to cups of water.

Naturally, everyone doubts the kids, there are a lot of goofy deaths, and ultimately a cheesy, and a bit rushed ending.

There were actually a few pockets of good choices, but the premise is so ridiculous that there was no way to make a more solid B flick, so it turned to leaning hard into “so bad it’s good.” However, it didn’t really push it far enough, so it wasn’t totally able to land. I was near chuckling at a few kills, but overall it just didn’t entertain to the level it needed to. It needed to be more over the top, or funnier, or just something. Still, I actually like it more than most of the movies I’ve seen in the same vein… but that’s not saying much.

The movie does make a few efforts to avoid certain tropes but then dives right into other ones. It approaches (and even flat out is) unnecessarily problematic at a few moments and really could have cut some scenes (or aged up the general cast).

The plot was interesting enough. The town had a Roanoke-like event leading to a curse on the cave that brings back anyone, or now we see, thing, that dies in it. The teens use this knowledge to formulate a plan to end the shark once and for all. It’s far from fleshed out because why would it be, but not that bad overall. There is also a Jaws-type thing with the mayor denying everything until pushed by one of the deaths. Really both of these serve only to get us from one silly kill to the next, which is fine.

I think there is something to be said for the work that goes into them, especially because I am sure it is done in hyper speed. I hesitate to knock them, but also can’t pretend they aren’t what they are. I wish there were more consistency in them being enjoyable B movies rather than just “what a funny premise I’ll give it one watch on that alone” B movies.

Still, there are a few movies that had more behind them, and by all accounts, I should enjoy more and don’t.

I wish we could see more of these goofy premises go the way of Piranha 3D and the like. Still really goofy, so bad it’s good, but with better quality and acting, pushing the deaths the extra mile, and more balanced overall in getting us to those moments.

Bottom line, the novelty of this movie will appeal to some people. A lot of those people will likely be disappointed that this movie doesn’t go further. It is not the worst of the movies of this type; it’s not the best, though. Know what you are getting into, and at least enjoy how the kills happen, even if not the execution.

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