Piranha 3D Review

Movie: Piranha 3D
By: Maniac E
Date: November 14, 2011

There's Something in the Water

Director Alexandre Aja isn’t shy about his love for the exploitation movie scene from back in the seventies. His movie “Haute Tension” (2003) was inspired on these movies and shows no mercy in ways of violent tolerance. This movie become to be his ticket towards Hollywood where he made the remake of Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes” (2006). In 2008 he did a remake of the Korean movie “Mirrors”, and now it’s time for his tribute movie towards the monster movie theme. A movie based on Joe Dante’s “Piranha” from 1978 but with a bit more of Aja’s touché to it.

The premise is simple: Lake Victoria has a small Podunk town on its shores that only sees action once a year when an army of college kids invade the lake to get naked and crazy in the usual Spring Break fashion. Just before the festivities kick-off, a small earthquake opens a chasm at the bottom of the lake, exposing a passage to a subterranean lake where a vicious species of prehistoric piranha have been living for the past 2 million years or so (why not?). The fish get loose and in their beady little eyes, the party people at Lake Victoria are a giant buffet.

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Our “narrative anchor” is Jake Forester (Steven R. McQueen), a teenage kid who never gets to have much fun. His mother Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue) is the town sheriff and Jake has to forgo the Spring Break party circuit in order to babysit his little brother and sister ( who are charmingly played by Brooklyn Proulx and Sage Ryan). The lack of a social life keeps Jake from being able to make a move on his crush, Kelly (Jessica Szohr), but things start looking up when he runs across Derrick Jones (Jerry O’Connell ), the scummy director of the “Wild, Wild, Girls” video series. Derrick needs a local “sand rat” to guide him to the lake’s best spots, and Jake wouldn’t mind getting a little closer to Derrick’s Wild Girls, Danni (Kelly Brook) and Crystal (Riley Steele). So Jake takes Derrick’s offer and hops onboard the wild boat, and it’s all going well until Kelly shows up and Derrick takes a shine to her. Suddenly Jake isn’t enjoying living on the wild side.

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If you know anything about director Alexandre Aja then you know what to expect on what gruesome over the top blood action you will get. The man has a real talent for somehow conveying the gruesomeness of death, without venturing into the almost cartoonish excesses of torture-porn. When these piranha finally do come calling and Spring Break gets turned into a massacre, it, is, ugly. As things go for the CGI it’s CGI. The fish are completely 3D rendered and it shows. These CGI visual effects will never win any prices but if you look at it does its job. And the job gets done delivery us a low budget gore bloodbath.

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The acting isn’t all that bad. Elisabeth Shue still has it (in both the looks and acting department), Ving Rhames is Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Llyod both make hilarious cameos riffing on some of their past iconic rolls (I’ll let you guess which), and Adam Scott does pretty well as a quasi-leading man type guy. New kids McQueen and Szohr are… not so great, but they are luckily surrounded by some better actors who can hold them up. Jerry O’Connell is the best by far, turning what could’ve been a simple scum worthy character into the hambone king of douchebags. Of course the roles don’t exactly demand all that much of the actors here, but this movie could’ve been a lot worse if the actors involved had played it in a way that made the camp seem unintentional. Only the younger actors make that mistake, the older cast know exactly why they are here - two words: fish bait.

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Piranha 3D lets you see more violence, gore and blood than most other new age horror flicks. Don’t expect any torture porn here, but expect a great exploitation movie instead. Aja knows where to build up the excitement and knows when to break it completely. The movie is cheesy and if you are like me the more cheese the better. This was a joy to watch but if you can’t bare the gore and blood leave it be.



Piranha 3D


Piranha 3D


Alexandre Aja






Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Richard Dreyfuss