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Bait – 5

Director – Kimble Rendall

Cast – Richard Brancatisano, Xavier Samuel, Chris Betts, Sharni Vinson, ulian McMahon, Dan Wyllie, Alice Parkinson, Phoebe Tonkin, Damien Garvey, Lincoln Lewis, Cariba Heine, Dan Russell

Release Year – 2012

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I felt the need for some cheese, and being a fan of killer shark flicks I decided to view one of the more recent films fitting such criteria: Bait. After a freak shark attack takes the life of one of his coworkers, former lifeguard Rory is patching his life back together while working at a local supermarket along the Australian coast. To add to his misery, the girl that he lost due to his breakdown is back in town and shopping at his place of work, but he has little time to dwell on the matter when suddenly a nearby earthquake causes a monstrous tsunami to obliterate the town, leaving the supermarket patrons and its employees trapped inside the building with a 12 foot Great White shark.

That’s right y’all, this story is cliché as hell. The opening sequence introduces us the beautiful scenery provided by the Australian coast, but it ends in tragedy as one of Rory’s fellow lifeguards is brutally killed by the very shark that would later devour more of his friends. Somehow Rory felt extreme guilt over the matter because it was “supposed” to be him out there setting the buoy when the shark attack occurred, and his troubles were so much that he left his job and lost the love of his life. :puke: The first act feels a bit long (even though it was as long as a first act should be) but managed to keep enough of my interest as I was really just trying to figure out what the hell the writer was doing. Before the tsunami hits there is a robbery taking place at the supermarket, which I did find to be a good idea (more on that later) but the writing execution was just downright silly. Nonetheless things pick up when the tsunami hits and the remaining survivors are left scrambling onto the only dry spots in the store. Of course, they have no idea there is a Great White shark in the midst of them, but they learn very quickly when the shark delivers blood soaked carnage before their eyes.

There is much opportunity for good tension due to our protagonists being placed in a nowhere to run scenario, and the ante is upped given there is a shark patrolling the water, which is their only way out. On top of this, the water level is rising, so there is also a “pressure cooker” effect going on due to them only having a limited amount of time to find a way out without being devoured. THEN, because he survived the initial onslaught, they are forced to work with the untrustworthy robbery suspect as well. With tension coming from all directions I must applaud the six man writing team for setting the film up for what should have been a very tense experience. There are numerous kills and they each come with their own gory goodness, which include one heartbreakingly valiant death that leaves a lasting effect on the viewer. All in all the story is a simple one, leaving the director to take care of ensuring this is a solid effort.

Director Kimble Randall did a mediocre job executing this piece, with horrible CGI and lack of effective direction of the horror serving as the biggest reason behind this effort not being as tense as it could have been. The opening scene where Rory’s coworker is killed gives us a sour taste of the horrible shark CGI to come, and on top of the we are introduced to it’s zany antics as it leaps 50 feet out of the ocean in it’s breaching kill of the lifeguard. I understand that this is meant to be a 3D film, but poor CGI is poor CGI. Also, I was not happy with the film’s comedic use of the shark breaching the water in insane fashion given this is really not THAT type of film. For instance, we were shown such antics in Piranha 3D and it worked well because it was always intended as a silly film, but Bait is not in the same vein yet tried to employ the same silly carnage and it just did not work. Thankfully, Randall did something right in throwing in loads of gore and dismemberment. At times the gore was computer generated but it was nowhere near as bad as the effects used on the shark, which only saw live-action use during some very close-up scenes. Another positive of Randall’s direction was the sets and locations used, especially during the scenes following the tsunami. He employed elaborate sets for the flooded supermarket and underground parking lot, and they played a key role in keeping me engaged despite the other faults plaguing this piece. I was saddened to see a film with much potential go to waste due to directorial issues, but at the same time I am not surprised as it happens often.

Overall, Bait is another mediocre effort that could have been much better had it not been for its directorial issues.

Rating: 5/10

…additional stills…

Here is that horrible breaching scene during the opening sequence.

The result of one of the cooler kills in the film.

Are you seduced yet?



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