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Bait 3D


Stars: Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson, Phoebe Tonkin, Martin Sacks, Alex Russell, Lincoln Lewis, Cariba Heine, Adrian Pang, San Wyllie, Alice Parkinson, Qi Yuwu, Damien Garvey, Richard Brancatisano

Director: Kimble Rendall

Man-eating sharks, memorably celebrated by Steven Spielberg (with a little help from his Oscar-winning editor Verna Fields who re-shot a key scene in producer David Brown’s swimming pool) in Jaws, have become something of a shockfilm staple.

Australian director Kimble Rendall cleverly chose a Queensland beach backed by expensive-looking apartment blocks to make his seaside location a passable double for Santa Monica and/or Florida and so hopefully, give his killer-shark-versus-trapped-humans shocker a modicum of international appeal.

The screenplay by John Kim & Russell Mulcahy with “Additional Writing” by Shayne Armstrong, Duncan Kennedy, Shane Krause and Justin Monjo hardly justifies so many hands at the pumps. A year after her brother is attacked and eaten by a shark, Sharni Wilson is back from Singapore with a new boyfriend. Not exactly the best choice since a freak tsunami strikes, trapping Wilson and a selection of less than impressive actors in a flooded supermarket basement with a giant 12-foot shark for company…

Effective 3D filming adds a modicum of impact to the clichés offered up in place of a creative storyline and, to give him his due, Rendall stages the shark’s frequent attacks competently enough without making any of them really memorable. It doesn’t really help, either, that most of the performers are so wooden I began to believe the majority of them needed special effects to keep them under water.

As a forget-while-you-watch shocker, Bait just about qualifies, although it cries out for DVD viewing, since the fast-forward button would make it a great deal shorter and more enjoyable for the trimming. As shark movies go, this belongs right down there with the equally dim Shark in Venice. (And could the title actually be B.A.I.T. which, of course, is an acronym for ‘Bad Actors In Trouble’).

Alan Frank

Australia 2011. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 21 Apr 2013