Film Review: Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011)

SYNOPSIS:

12 years ago during a scientific expedition 3 animal biologists stumbled upon a great discovery that ended in tragedy. Whatever killed them has awoken and now the legend of the Ancient Snow Beast could prove to be more than just a legend.

REVIEW:

If absurd was one of the themes in previous years for horror, then I believe that “Snow Shark” should be included. Out of the Buffalo New York area arrives a quirky independent film created by Sam Qualiana

Now the extra long title could have sufficed simply with “Snow Shark”, and we’d have got what the filmmakers were selling us. However, after watching “Snow Shark” I’m not so sure it’s as funny as it “could” have been. I actually am not sure comedy was even a consideration with the script sticking to a more “serious tone”. Though there is some comedy in the camera views of seeing a shark mouth ripping towards a new victim. Something that I believe may have been influenced from those quirky SNL skits. “Snow Shark” is a retro nod to old classics like “Blood Beach, which used a sandy beach for a similar attack effect. In any case, the audience is left with finding the silliness here from a viewer perspective while the cast is focused on more serious issues.

The premise here is that a “fissure” has occurred that has released a prehistoric animal long kept below the surface It is winter season and this emerged shark is feeding on victims who dare venture out into the forest. The shark emerges pretty quickly from under snow covered trenches only seen per its oncoming fin that sticks just off the surface. The approach is silly, and while we get the gag, it is still fun to watch. You expect this kind of thing kept to 5-15 minute shorts rather than a feature length, however the filmmakers were fully aware that “odd” tends to sell these days, even if cheesy and cheap. In short, the team did a great job at stretching it into a feature.

After the opener research team is eaten alive while investigating the disappearance of the local wildlife, we are taken into the future 12 years later. The shark is still present and the town has gone from their urban legends way of thinking into “good ol boy” attack mode.

A town hall meeting is called as locals complain of their friends being eaten alive while they sit still. With a town mayor who seems inept at best not doing much, many the locals decide to take law into their own hands.

And so the hunt begins……

Snow Shark” at times becomes tiring in dialog exchanges that seem to last a bit “too” long. A “Great White Hunter” (expert) is called in who is forced to work along side researchers who wish to preserve the animal. From this arrives several bickering conversations that really tempted me to find the fast forward button in favor of moving forward to the action. While trappings of a micro budget film are apparent, the team behind the production still does a great job at stretching the idea into feature length. (I mean really, how much can you do with a snow shark???)

Special mention has to go to the gang for pulling off a giant shark emerging from the ground which even though was left to special effects is just enough shark to make us hunger for more. In fact, one of the charming qualities this movie has is by using the “less is more” approach and never overdoing its props. The close ups up are fun to watch and edited for just enough blood and teeth to matter with the use of cgi and a model prop to fill in the rest.

The acting is mostly spread among a rather large ensemble of participants, though actor Michael O’Hear arrives as the film’s main thespian whose style seems right in line with his “Brody” influenced part. Other actor talents that i thought fun to watch were Andy Taylor and the creator / writer himself Sam Qualiana as Mike Evans. Special mention goes to producer Greg Lamberosn who seems to be connected to every product that comes out of Buffalo these days. It’s great to see the teams pushing forward.

If you want if you are looking for drama and seriousness, then you should rent “The Jacket”. Though if it is a good beer movie you seek, then check out” Snow Shark”

Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011)

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