To make a bad movie with the intention of making a good one happens often. To make a good movie with the intention of making a bad one - now, that's a rarity. French Director Alexandre Aja, best known for cult classic High Tension is back with Piranha 3D - the latest in a classic B-Movie franchise which dates back to the late '70s. Now with a budget courtesy of The Weinstein Co. and 3-D technology, the story gets updated for this generation of Movie-goers.
The College Kids head to Lake Victoria for Spring Break and all is a big party until some geographic movement unleashes hoards of ancient Killer Piranhas out of nowhere. Sheriff Julie Forester, played by a dearly-missed Elizabeth Shue, is in charge of maintaining order among the festivities and assigns her son Jake (Steven R. McQueen) the task of baby-sitting his two younger siblings while she is on assignment. Jerry O'Connell plays Derrick Jones, the sleazy mogul behind a Girls Gone Wild-like production company, recruiting a naive Jake to assist in scouting locations around the Lake to film his curvacious models, including Playboy Playmate Kelly Brook.
Kelly (Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr) has feelings for Jake and decides to go aboard Derrick's Boat for some wild times on the Lake. Jake's two unsupervised younger siblings however get themselves into trouble, heading out to the water. All the while, the College Kids are out on the water and before long, the fun comes to a full halt as the Killer Piranhas crash the party - disaster strikes and quite literally, Lake Victoria becomes a blood bath. People get mauled to death, limbs get eaten off, sexual organs all afloat. And oh yes, the new King of Horror Eli Roth and Richard Dreyfus of Jaws, which the film pays homage to, make cameos as well. And did I forget to mention though that somewhere amidst all the gore, you might actually find yourself laughing at the over-the-top absurdity of it all?
Piranha 3D is amazing. It's gruesome, gross, but containing the perfect balance of comedy. It's definitely not for the light-hearted, but anyone paying mind to the film's Trailers or aware of the franchise's history, should know that this goes without saying really. Aja does a brilliant job of creating a imminent sense of danger, which drives the film and the synergy among the cast is fantastic as it's clear they're all in-on-the-joke. The use of CGI is tasteful and never is the film dependent on it as the focus is always the story. Nobody is safe for a moment and despite all the laughs, we're terrified. Bloody terrified. My only complaint is that it all ends too soon and I have a feeling we'll be seeing another installment in the franchise in the near future. Released through Alliance Films, Piranha 3D is now in wide release. Grade: A