A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this 3D horror movie -- in which college students are devoured by renegade sharks -- has lots of blood, but not as much as the even more brutal "torture porn" movies like Saw. The gore here is partly shown and partly suggested, but when it comes down to it, there's plenty of red stuff swirling in the water, along with severed limbs, chomping, and even an exploding shark. There's also fighting, stabbing, and shooting between humans, as well as brief partial nudity (partial glimpses of breasts while young women change). Sexual innuendo is strong; men ogle and objectify women, and everyone is clearly thinking about sex. Expect some use of language like "s--t" and "t-ts." College students drink lots of beer, and a local sheriff drinks beer and whisky, though no one appears drunk.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Uptight pre-med college student Nick (Dustin Milligan) is persuaded to spend a weekend partying with a group of friends -- including the pretty, mysteriously distant Sara (Sara Paxton) -- at Sara's lake house. It's not long before one of the partygoers, Malik (Sinqua Walls), loses an arm to a shark attack. In their efforts to get him to a doctor, some of the other young people likewise start turning into shark food. It turns out that the sharks' presence in the lake is no accident and can be traced back to one of Sara's former boyfriends. Can the students solve the puzzle and get out of the water before it's too late?
Is it any good?
Simply put, this shark has no bite. Director -- and former stuntman -- David R. Ellis has previously helmed two of the Final Destination movies, as well as the infamous Snakes on a Plane, so he has a good grasp of the entertainment of destruction, though perhaps not a very thoughtful one. Many movies about killer aquatic creatures on the loose have succeeded due to a lightweight, carefree mood or an ironic tone; SHARK NIGHT has none of this.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. What makes audiences scream -- and laugh -- at the shark attacks? Is it supposed to be scary, or something else?
The bad guys argue that people want to see real-life shark attacks. Do they have a point? Where have they crossed the line?
- How do 3D effects help or hinder this movie? What's the appeal of 3D?
- In theaters: September 2, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: January 3, 2012
- Cast: Donal Logue, Dustin Milligan, Sara Paxton
- Director: David R. Ellis
- Studios: Relativity Media, Rogue Pictures
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: violence and terror, disturbing images, sexual references, partial nudity, language and thematic material
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
For kids who love scary movies
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch