Sunday, 5 September 2010

Piranha 3D (Aja, 2010)

During Spring Break, thousands of kids flock into town to party at Lake Victoria, with the bikini brigade out in force and putting on a show. But this year a new crowd are taking over the water - and it's not just the boobies they're after. When a tremor hits, a secret lake opens up underneath Victoria, releasing the long-extinct piranhas and unleashing chaos upon the festivities.

Pirahna 3D could be described as 'a remake of a remake', with the original released in 1978 and a remake in 1995. However, whereas the 1995 version was very much the same as the original Piranha, Aja has taken the plot and given it an update - with the crew of 'Wild Wild Girls' hitting the lake to film some hot lady action. Yes, really. Jake (Steven R. McQueen) does a bunk on babysitting to take any teenage boy's dream job as the crew's location scout, along with his crush, Kelly (Jessica Szohr). As the camera rolls, the group are unaware what's brewing in the depths of Lake Victoria. Meanwhile, his mother, local Sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue) teams up with seismologist Novak Radzinsky (Adam Scott) to save the town's partiers from becoming fish food.

The cast is a generally strong ensemble, with a mixture of lesser-known and established actors - including a cameo from noted horror director Eli Roth. The appearance of Richard Dreyfuss as fisherman is a nice little homage to his role in Jaws - a film which the original Piranha parodied, and this can be seen clearly in today's offering. The film also features Blighty's very own Kelly Brook, who spends much of her screen time in no more than swimwear, which likely explains the high percentage of males in the cinema. Her acting leaves much to be desired - but really, does anyone care when she's frolicking butt naked in the sea with another woman?

Not being particularly a 3D fangirl, I wasn't expecting it to add that much to the film, but I was pleased to be mistaken. The horror genre is one in which the 3D works well - when used right, at least. Rather than an over-the-top 'LOOK! 3D!' display, it was used to complement the visuals and give the movie a new level of depth. This being said, there were choice moments where the effect was emphasized - especially one that might make the males wince - but they were generally well thought out and visually appealing. On the subject of visually appealing, there's plenty of female flesh on show for 'the lads', in glorious three-dimensional form .

Another aspect greatly benefitting from the 3D was the gore - something there was definitely no shortage of, with imaginative deaths left, right and centre. When the beach partiers come under attack, the SFX team shine with realistic-looking severed limbs and dyed-red water. Unlike some films, the bloodbath is in context, so it didn't just feel like gore for gore's sake.

Piranha 3D is a fast paced and highly enjoyable horror with a sense of humour, mixing old-style horror and panic scenarios with an attitude of tongue-in-cheek and not taking itself too seriously. The 3D aspect definitely adds to the experience, but even without it, this would still be a watchable, fun-filled movie.


  1. Totally agree. This is possibly THE movie of the summer for me. Some of the death scenes were just sickly inventive - and a cameo from Christopher Lloyd = <3.

    Plus 3D boobies bottoms and foofoos... what more could one desire?

  2. Loved Pirahna 3-D! It was a fun old-school horror flick with some amazing gore.