Our friends out at Anchor Bay, showing that kind of monster movie mayhem that we’ve come to know and love, shipped out a copy of “Bait” for us to review, and it’s the kind of riotous, shark-laden affair that you might hope for from a night of SyFy programming, but instead, it will be right on your DVD or Blu-ray player, which ever you prefer.
“Bait” follows a little seaside town that’s having a run of very unexpected problems. First there was the freak tsunami that showed up. And that was pretty bad, especially when you consider it’s also partially submerged the local grocery store. But the problem is not one of no longer having a place to get Fritos and Coke, no sir, or ma’am as the case may be. The problem–and this is the other problem–is what the tsunami brought with it. Namely, a shark. Several sharks, actually. They’re all in the grocery store and hungry for meat. But they’re not hitting the deli case just yet, oh no…they want fresh meat. People meat. How lucky for the sharks that there are people trapped inside the grocery store. Now the folks inside will have to try and escape the flooded food haven and get outside…before they get eaten.
The interesting thing about shark movies is that they almost always take place in big, open environments. The beach, the ocean–the swamp or a lake in some rare cases like “Shark Night 3D”–but this is different. “Bait” mostly takes place in a building, and this is generally not a place you see sharks. Kudos to the writers for thinking up an original twist on an old theme.
But original themes are merely a good start, not a good movie. “Bait” is something of a mixed bag; some parts feel wildly overdone, while some parts are absolute magnificences of subtlety; the early part ahead of the tsunami is a wonder of ominous tension-building. Indeed, much of the rest involves plenty of tension building as well, and makes “Bait” a surprisingly sharp monster movie that’s better than many of its counterparts.
Interestingly, the Blu-ray version of “Bait” includes a 3D mode, though you’ll need a 3D television and 3D-capable Blu-ray player to see it. Whether or not that makes it better or worse depends largely on individual tastes, but at the end of the day, should be a little extra punch. Bait may not be anyone’s idea of high-brow filmmaking, but it’s still going to be a very solid horror experience with that little extra–if you’ll pardon the bon mot–bite to keep anyone interested.