Review: Shark Season (2020)
Having just had my faith in shark attack films restored with Deep Blue Sea 3 I decided to really push my luck with Shark Season. It’s a new film from The Asylum, one they didn’t even bother to put on IMDB. The fact they were that proud of it should have been my cue to pass on it. But I did say I was pushing my luck…
The film opens with a paddleboarder setting out from the beach. The camera wants us to notice her legs and ass, but the big raw spot on the back of her shoulder is what really stood out. It doesn’t really matter, as she is promptly attacked and eaten by stock footage of a Great White.
Sarah (Paige McGarvin, End of the World) has a long talk with her dad (Michael Madsen, Angels Fallen, Red Handed) before heading to her photoshoot. She meets up with her photographer and ex-boyfriend Jason (Jack Pearson, The Madness Within, Jungle Run). Also along for the trip is Meghan (Juliana DeStefano, American Psychos, Blood Pagent) his makeup person and his new girlfriend.
Jason wants to shoot at a platform of some kind that’s above water for a few hours a day since a hurricane “re-arraigned the channels”. Ominously, it’s a three-hour trip by kayak. They don’t notice the shark, now transformed into bad CGI, following them. Well, not until it eats Jason, leaving the girls trapped on a chunk of rock that is quickly submerging.
Yes, we all saw this before when it was called The Shallows. And some of us saw it before that as Malibu Shark Attack. We didn’t need another version. Especially not one this inept. The script is by Mark Atkins, best known for films like 6 Headed Shark Attack, Sand Sharks and Monster Island. Unlike them, Shark Season tries to be a serious horror film. It’s just tedious, with dialogue as bad as the CGI.
The direction by Jared Cohn (Devil’s Revenge, Atlantic Rim: Resurrection), Atkins is credited with directing as well as writing on The Asylum’s website, is every bit as bad. Much of the kayaking footage is shot so we see the cast member, but not the kayak or the water. Then we cut to an aerial shot where you can’t tell who is in the kayak. Or it’s shot from behind. The result is attacks that are such a mess of quick cuts that they induce headaches, not fear.
If you’re a fan of Michael Masden there’s some good news. For once, he’s in more than one short scene. He’s in several scenes. Granted, they’re all short, and he doesn’t do much more than talk on the phone. But Shark Season is graced by his presence throughout the film.