Review: Ghost Shark / Cert: 15 / Director: Griff Furst / Screenplay: Paul A. Birkett / Starring: Mackenzie Rosman, Dave Davis, Sloane Coe, Jaren Mitchell, Richard Moll / Release Date: October 28th
We’ve seen sharks in tornadoes, sharks in sand, sharks in snow, sharks in Venice, sharks in swamps, sharks crossed with octopuses, and now we’ve got a shark coming back from beyond the watery grave. Ghost Shark has one of the most ridiculous plots that we’ve ever seen (and we watch a lot of strange shit), although it’s not entirely as bad as you’d expect. The story: a redneck son and daughter kill a great white shark whilst out fishing. Said apex killing machine floats away to a mystical cave which brings the shark back as a mean ol’ spirit. And don’t worry about it being ‘safe to go back in the water,’ as land is no major barrier for this particular spooky shark. Yes, this ghost shark can kill people on land. In fact, it can kill people wherever there is water.
As well as a ghoulish fish, the film has a cast of disposable teens and seemingly a checklist of clichés to tick off. There are several nods to Jaws (we’re pretty sure you can hear Roy Scheider turning in his grave if you listen carefully) and there’s the ever-popular crazy old local that the young pups should really listen to. If this wasn’t enough for you, some of the kills are ridiculous. A couple of death scenes that stand out to us are somebody being killed by the ghost shark via the toilet, whilst another guy bites it after taking a drink from a water cooler.
The SFX work on show is your usual straight-to-DVD fodder, although Ghost Shark does well initially to hide its flaws. In the same way that Jaws kept its weak point, Bruce the shark, out of shot for most of the film, Ghost Shark initially does well to only show brief glimpses of the shark and of the carnage it commits. That doesn’t last for the whole film, though, as things get more and more ludicrous as the movie comes to a climax. Still, the ending here is nowhere near as bad as something like Sharknado.
The performances of the principal cast are solid, although nobody particularly stands out from the crowd. That said, nobody stands out as doing a horrible job, as is so often the case in these type of films (here’s looking at you, Tara Reid). As for the direction, Furst seems to understand the constraints of his film, and he does his best to minimise the lesser aspects and to accentuate the positives.
If you can get past the ridiculous concept of the film, Ghost Shark really isn’t as bad as some of its peers. Sure, it’s not something that you need to see but there’s worse ways to spend a spare 90 minutes.