Bait could, and should, have been something fantastic. It’s all about a freak tsunami that traps a bunch of shoppers and staff in a flooded supermarket. They’re not alone in there, oh no. A 12-foot great white shark is browsing the aisles. With no hope of a quick rescue and a number of other factors making time of the essence, the survivors need to figure out a way to avoid being eaten by the shark and get themselves out of the danger area.
What a great premise. Okay, so maybe it’s a great premise in the eyes of b-movie fans like myself, as opposed to fans of Bela Tarr, but it certainly promises a certain amount of fun. And it delivers a certain amount of fun, despite some horrible scripting compounded by some horrible acting.
John Kim and Russell Mulcahy are the main people responsible for the script, but it took another FOUR people to get this end result. Six people, in total, and this is the best they could do? Dialogue that is weak and riddled with cliches. Characters drawn from The Beginner’s Guide To B-Movie Archetypes. At least the shark doesn’t have any lines, or even that would have been messed up.
As for those who do actually have to speak those lines, few escape with dignity intact. Poor Xavier Samuel, the star of the movie (and a young man who did so great in The Loved Ones). He gets one or two heroic moments, but not enough to compensate for the rest of the script. Mind you, Sharni Vinson, Dan Wylie (who deserves a mention for being SO bad), Phoebe Tonkin (who would be the worst thing in the film if it wasn’t for Wylie) and everyone else suffer just as much. Poor Julian McMahon has the added misery of falling further and further away from where his career once was.
Director Kimble Rendall doesn’t really sell himself as one to watch further down the line. The best bits all involve the shark, which is often well realised and only occasionally looks horribly fake, so I’m not sure if I should really give marks there to Rendall or just hope that “the shark” gets more movie roles in the near future.
There’s still just enough here to raise the film to the level of average, if you’re feeling generous, but not quite enough to call it good. Fans of shark movies, and I count myself as one, should give it a one-time watch. Preferably with some alcohol to make the whole experience a bit more bearable.
Bait is out on DVD and 3D Blu-ray on 29th April here in the UK.
DIRECTOR: KIMBLE RENDALL
WRITER: JOHN KIM, RUSSELL MULCAHY, SHANE KRAUSE, JUSTIN MONJO, DUNCAN KENNEDY, SHAYNE ARMSTRONG
STARS: XAVIER SAMUEL, SHARNI VINSON, DAN WYLIE, PHOEBE TONKIN, ALICE PARKINSON, DAMIEN GARVEY, LINCOLN LEWIS, CARIBA HEINE, JULIAN MCMAHON, ALEX RUSSELL
RUNTIME: 93 MINS APPROX