REVIEW: Piranha 3D (2010)

31 Aug

REVIEW: Piranha 3D (2010): *** out of 4 stars.

Let me just start off by saying that in no way is this artistic or high-quality film-making, but in terms of summer popcorn movies, this is one heck of an entertaining ride.

Piranha starts off spoofing “Jaws” with a great cameo by Richard Dreyfuss fishing on Lake Victoria, home to one of spring break’s greatest hot spots. An underground earthquake creates a crack on the bottom of the lake that leads to an underwater cavern filled with an ancient species of piranhas, who have been festering down there for thousands of years. They immediately rise and swarm the lake that is filled with drunken spring breakers and it is up to sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue), her deputy (Ving Rhames), and a scientist (Adam Scott) to find a way to stop the feeding frenzy.

What makes Piranha an enjoyable movie to watch is that it makes no qualms about being anything but a playful gore-fest (if that is possible). The film goes above and beyond many recent horror movies in that it actually shows the massacre the audience wants to see based on the previews. A lot of aquatic creature movies involve a crowded beach, but the monster usually only gets one or two people before everyone makes it out of the water. Piranha shows (in gruesome detail) hundreds of college students being swarmed and attacked by the piranhas, appendages flying, and the sheer panic that ensues as opposed to glossing it over with a few secluded incidents.

While again, this in no way makes a quality movie and many times the gratuitous gore is disturbing, Piranha somehow manages to make a humorous satire of itself in that regard; which has Eli Roth’s (the producer) handwriting all over it. He knows this genre inside and out and uses his medium effectively (even bringing himself into the movie for a gruesome death).

One of the problems I have with this film is that it didn’t use the 3D to its advantage. There were very few times the piranhas seemed to come off the screen, which would have added that much more to the horror movie effects. The 3D was best when using sweeping shots of the lake to make the landscape visually arresting.

While I would have liked the plot to be tighter and the ending to wrap things up a little more, overall this was the best popcorn flick I have seen in a while. It has not done so well in the box office, but I think with the high critical approval it has, and the overwhelming word-of-mouth support that it is gaining, this film will do very well as a sleeper hit.


One Response to “REVIEW: Piranha 3D (2010)”


  1. Movie Reviews by Author « Chris Petersen's Film Blog - November 10, 2010

    […] Piranha 3D                              B                              N/A […]

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