Director – Alexandre Aja
Cast – Elisabeth Shue, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell, Kelly Brook, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Cody Longo, Dina Meyer, Ricardo Chavira, , Riley Steele, Richard Dreyfuss
Release Year – 2010
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Piranha 3D is the obvious remake of Joe Dante’s 1978 cult classic Piranha, but with the money-grabbing addition of 3-D technology. I will admit that despite seeing that one of my favorite modern directors was set to help this project, French director Alejandre Aja(High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes remake, Mirrors), I had many doubts over how good this film would be. From the trailers and clips I saw I was shown way too much CGI for my own tastes, which left a bad taste in my mouth. Well, I must honestly say that I was very wrong about this flick, and once again Alejandre Aja has left me with a very satisfying film experience.
After an underwater earthquake opens a trench deep within Lake Victoria, a hoard of prehistoric piranhas make their way through the trench to the sleepy town’s now heavily populated Spring Break festival. With thousands of sitting ducks and thousands of bloodthirsty creatures chomping away at the spring breakers, local sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue; Hide and Seek, Hollow Man), her son Jake Forester (Steven R. McQueen; Lame “Vampire Diaries” TV show), and government geologist Novak(Adam Scott; Step Brothers) must band together to rescue the town from a blitzkrieg attack from an outnumbering army of possibly the greatest killers on Earth.
If you like your popcorn flicks then Piranha 3D will be sure to give you everything you want to see. As I mentioned earlier, I was very iffy going into this watch, and was in fact SO iffy that I waited for this flick to hit dollar theaters. Well, I must say that this flick was definitely worth full price at premier theaters, and I just simply missed out.
From the get-go we are given a fun treat to watch with Richard Dreyfuss basically redoing his role in Spielberg’s Jaws, this time portraying a sole fisherman who witnesses first-hand the destructive force that caused the piranhas to surface, as well as the destructive force they can deliver. This was a nice touch, and went well with the rest of the casting choices for this flick.
Story-wise the film takes much less of an environmental route than the original but stays true to most of the bigger scenes the original displayed. For a very simple film we do get some great pacing and interesting scenes, and I must thank Sorority Row writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg for throwing in some fun elements to keep us going until the good stuff came on.
With that, we get to the best thing about this flick…Aja’s direction. With such a simple storyline we need good direction to keep this a fun and interesting watch, and Aja expertly executed every imaginable element awesomely. The level of fun reigns high in this flick, with tons of naked women, lots of gore, and awesome death scenes. I was really impressed with the level of gore and in this film(yes, despite Aja always throwing in some good gore) mainly because this seemed to be his biggest Hollywood production to date. Gore and nudity are not always required for horror films, but when you are aiming at recreated a cheezy cult classic then you better throw in some familiar elements fans of the original will enjoy, and gore and nudity did just fine with this flick. My problems with the CGI were not as bad as I expected to be, mainly because this is a 3D watch so naturally some CGI must be incorporated to deliver the 3D. What really surprised me was how Aja executed the party scenes, which came off not as an Aja film at all. When I saw these scenes I was immediately reminded of the opening scenes of “CSI Miami” episodes, with tons of hot women and dudebros dancing and boozing, and while I won’t say that I necessarily loved it I do think that his execution of these scenes brought on a fun party feel to the flick and reminded us of how naïve people can be when they are having the time of their lives.
Overall, this is a fun and cool watch that I recommend to fans of gory cheezy horror and fans of the original Piranha film. We get excellent direction, great gore, tons of nudity, and a story that provides much cheese and carnage for those of us who want to see a modern day gory no-brainer.