Shark Night 3D Movie Poster Image

Shark Night 3D

Violent 3D shark attacks ... and not much else.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is just a giant blood feast. The villains are truly without morals, and the heroes, even if they're nice people, aren't very interesting. Viewers may start rooting for the sharks to get their dinner.

Positive role models

One character, a pre-med student, tries to save as many people as he can. His strong and sometimes heroic empathy goes out to nearly everyone, but even he gets into the fighting and killing by the end.


The gore actually isn't as overwhelming as it could be. Still, there's plenty of violence, and even though much of it is half-suggested and half-shown, there are lots of images of blood swirling around in the water as characters are eaten. One character emerges with an arm missing. A girl is devoured slowly by many tiny sharks. A boat explodes. Fights with knives and guns. Characters are shot.


Some partial nudity as two girls change into their bathing suits. They're seen from behind and slightly to the side (partial breasts are visible). Lots of sexual innuendo. A male character takes off his girlfriend's top in the water (nothing shown). Girls in bathing suits and short-shorts are ogled and objectified.


Some use of words like "s--t" and "t-ts," as well as "douche," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," "bitch," "vagina," "ass," "prick," and "junk" (in reference to a penis).


A case of Red Bull energy drink is prominently on display. Characters drink a lot of Budweiser beer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

College students drink a lot of beer and some hard liquor while partying at a beach house, but they never appear drunk. The drinking mostly stops when the shark attacks begin. The local sheriff is seen drinking beer and whisky.

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.

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. 

The chemistry between the characters begins awkwardly and remains that way throughout the movie. Very often their behavior doesn't justify or "deserve" a shark attack, and there's a kind of sour tone, especially given the third-act plot twists. The visual effects are perhaps more designed for 3D thrills than they are for realism. The sharks look blatantly digital, and the attacks aren't particularly imaginative; the filmmakers clearly held back for a PG-13 rating (unlike 2010's truly outrageous Piranha 3D).

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 2, 2011
DVD/Streaming release date:January 3, 2012
Cast:Donal Logue, Dustin Milligan, Sara Paxton
Director:David R. Ellis
Studios:Relativity Media, Rogue Pictures
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence and terror, disturbing images, sexual references, partial nudity, language and thematic material

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Parent Written byflipflops2012 February 6, 2012

Should Have Gone Straight to DVD.

Honestly, the acting was so terrible it made me laugh and the story line was super far fetched but I have to admit that those factors did contribute to the movie being pretty entertaining. The movie was very sexual in nature and of course there is plenty of violence and gore as well. Definitely not a family movie and definitely not for kids. If you like cheaply made horror films, you might enjoy this one.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byTerrie September 3, 2011

Should be rated R due to sex and drinking references

We took our 13 and 12 year olds to see this film, and walked out after 10 minutes...not due to the violence, but due to the inappropriate sexual innuendos, nudity and reference to getting girls drunk first. This should be rated R.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old September 5, 2011

Scary movie!

This was a good movie. Gory but not really gory. Some nudity like a man's butt was showing and a woman was drawing him. Some drinking of beer. Some sex like a womans top was off nothing showing then that woman and man were kissing. Lots of language.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking