Richard Dreyfus may have survived a great white shark, but he was no match for thousands of Piranha! For the 24th night of our 31 nights of horror marathon, I watch the 2010 re-make of the Roger Corman original.
Less is more? No, more is more! More blood! More gore! More boobs! More fish! Not just that, but there is more comedy in this version, and it’s funnier. There is more suspense, and it’s done better. There are more vicious fish attacks, and the makeup effects are more horrific. There’s even more family drama. Essentially, Alexandre Aja took everything people enjoyed about the original and turned the dial up to eleven.
Good acting can make even the most ridiculous scenario believable. Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O’Connell, Adam Scott, Steven R. McQueen, will all make you feel what their characters feel and any movie is made better just by having Ving Rhames in it. There are other big names in the film, like Christopher Lloyd, Dina Meyer and the afore mentioned Richard Dreyfus. Unfortunately they don’t receive much screen time. I suspect much of their work wound up on the cutting room floor.
The improvements on the original are not just the increase in nudity and special effects, the film maker tweaked the story that to make it more believable… well… a little more plausible anyway. Gone are the genetic engineering. Instead the killer fish are leftovers from the age of dinosaurs that have been breeding and evolving in a subterranean cave system, cut off from the rest of the ecosphere. Also gone is the military coverup sub plot. This time people are put in danger, not because they are trying to keep it secret, but simply because the drunken teen on spring break just don’t have any respect for the local cops, which is even foreshadowed at the beginning of the movie.
When they removed the military and evil business owners, they had to add a new villain. I mean, the fish are the monsters, but there had to be someone we actually WANTED to see get eaten. So they give us Jerry O’Connell as a pervy jerk of a porn producer, in town to make his latest Girls Gone Wild style video. You will be counting down the minutes until he gets eaten, and then cheer when it happens.
I am shocked by how much I enjoyed this movie. I don’t usually watch horror movies in the theatre, I mostly prefer them at home and in the dark, but this is one I wish I had seen on the big screen, just because I would have liked to have seen it in 3D.
Should I watch the sequel? Will it be as much fun as this was, or will Piranha 3DD be a new Spawning? A very quick look tells me NONE of the same creative team were involved in the sequel, so, maybe I’ll look for something else tonight.