Rewind Review: 2012’s ‘Bait 3D’

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Josh (Xavier Samuel) is a sad guy having a really REALLY bad day.  He wakes up late and hurries off to his menial job stocking shelves in a supermarket.  When he gets to work, he runs into his ex-fiancé who broke his heart a year ago–and she’s with her new boyfriend.  Then his boss comes along and chews him out for being late and looking like shit.  While this is going on, a couple armed robbers have infiltrated the establishment intent on a big pay day; this quickly escalates into a deadly hostage situation.  Pretty rough morning, am I right?  Just wait… In the midst of this chaos, the entire coast is rocked by a major earthquake that sets buildings buckling.  Before the dust can settle, a huge Tsunami sweeps across town, flooding the supermarket and trapping survivors inside.  It’s obvious that a small aftershock is all it will take to destroy the building completely killing everyone else, so escape is paramount.  As if the situation couldn’t possibly be any more dire, it just so happens that a couple great white sharks have been dislocated by the tidal wave and are now swimming around the flooded isles–and they’re extremely hungry.  It’s a bad case of the Mondays to say the least!

Bait 3D is an Australian disaster Horror that ups the ante in the Killer Shark(s) subgenre.

Check out my review after the jump.

Official Synopsis:  This movie is about a group of people who get trapped in a Supermarket after a Tsunami hits the coast of Queensland, Australia. But they soon find out that they have more to worry about than being in a flooded grocery store, there’s a 12 foot shark swimming around them.

Straight up, Bait 3D (or just Bait) isn’t the kind of movie I normally blog about because, well, it’s ridiculous.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, high quality B Movie, but I’m more inspired to review films that convey a deep emotional resonance that a far-fetched film like Bait can’t possibly muster.  But then I remembered what a splash Sharknado made when it aired last year; if you were a fan of that film, then you will love Bait.  The ending isn’t as amazing as Sharknado‘s conclusion (Ian Ziering armed with a chainsaw battling a flying shark–what could top that?) but overall, Bait is a much better film in terms of action, scares, FX, and even outlandishness.

Bait excels in all the expected areas: Ominous dark shadow and prominent fins, underwater camera shots giving us a shark’s-eye-view, money-shots of gaping toothy mouths–all this and more adds up to serious heebie-jeebies.  And the gore is top notch: Thick syrupy blood, dismembered body parts, and floating entrails galore.  The setting adds an element of claustrophobia that you don’t normally have in the Shark subgenre; this isn’t an Open Water scenario, this is close quarters.  The fact that the water is relatively shallow actually intensifies the anxiety; it’s like that irrational but paralyzing dread of a shark in a swimming pool.

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While sharks are definitely the #1 villains in Bait, you’ve got to admire a film that heaps disaster Horror AND heist drama into the mix; it creates a genre-bending mash-up with nearly triple the intensity of your typical B Movie.  In addition to everything else, the survivors face the threat of electrocution from severed wire dangling dangerously close to water-level; another quake or wave and everyone is fucked.  And while the disaster has an equalizing effect among the survivors, the murderous robbers still pose a vague yet palpable threat.  While it wasn’t exactly necessary, Bait also tosses in a decent dollop of melodrama; We’ve got female bonding, male bonding, father daughter bonding, a love triangle, and several heroic acts of selflessness.  Hell, there’s even a love connection and a chance at redemption for criminal-with-a-heart-of-gold Doyle (Julian McMahon, best known as Dr. Christian Troy in Nip/Tuck).

Of course this film is also hysterical–intentionally for the most part.  The oversexed and under-socialized toe-headed couple in the underground parking lot spring immediately to mind (Lincoln Lewis and Cariba Heine as Kyle and Heather respectively).  As they await rescue in a submerged car (that somehow remains air-tight), they squabble like children oblivious to the severity of their situation; Heather is less concerned about being devoured than she is about getting her Gucci shoes wet.  Add a cute-but-annoying Chihuahua to the mix and you’ve got some decent comedy.  I also had a big chuckle about the homemade scuba-gear the survivors MacGyver-up.

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For a moment, it bothered me that the sharks were hellbent on eating survivors even though the water was filled with floating corpses and body parts.  I mean, sharks eat chum and tires and license plates so what makes these guys so picky?  But, like with most B Movies, you can’t really make any scientific arguments–because the entire premise is completely fantastic.  The sharks in Bait, therefore, don’t eat dead bodies because they’ve gotten a taste for live-meat and they’re super mean and evil.  No other explanation necessary (and the same goes for every other improbability or plot-hole).

The FX are… just okay.  I’ve seen worse, but the CGI looked pretty “off the shelf” and cartoonish; luckily, the excessive gore and practical FX more than make up for these shortcoming.  Keep reminding yourself (as I keep reminding myself): It’s only a B Movie, it’s only a B Movie.  Bait climaxes amidst an epic score with operatic arias that’s both awesome and overboard–and somehow perfect.  If you’re looking for a seriously scary Shark Horror, check out Open Water, The Reef, or the granddaddy of them all, Jaws.  But if you want s0me yummy “Horror Bubblegum”, you can do a lot worse than Bait.

2.5 out of 5 Skull Heads.

Trailer: HERE

Bait-3D-2012-Movie-Poster

Directed by Kimble Rendall
Produced by Gary Hamilton
Todd Fellman
Peter Barber
Written by Russell Mulcahy,
John Kim
Starring
  • Xavier Samuel
  • Julian McMahon
  • Sharni Vinson
  • Adrian Pang
  • Qi Yuwu
  • Alex Russell
  • Phoebe Tonkin
  • Alice Parkinson
  • Martin Sacks
  • Cariba Heine
  • Lincoln Lewis
  • Dan Wyllie
  • Richard Brancatisano
Music by Joe Ng
Alex Oh
Cinematography Ross Emery
Editing by Rodrigo Balart
Studio Darclight Films
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
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About Saucy Josh

I write a blog for intelligent Horror movie aficionados called Blood and Guts for Grown Ups: https://bloodandgutsforgrownups.wordpress.com/ View all posts by Saucy Josh

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