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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Psycho Shark (2009)

Film Review: Psycho Shark (2009)

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Mai and Miki are two young and attractive girls who are traveling to Okinawa for a vacation. Once the girls are settled into their hotel room Miki quickly finds a small video cassette which lets the young girl know that their vacation is about to become a nightmare!

“I’m going to create many memories!”

Year: 2009
Directed by: John Hijiri

I thought upon seeing the title Psycho Shark that I was in store for yet another one of those ScyFy channel CGI monster fests that I dread however I was pleasantly surprised by John Hisiri’s horrific vision of a vacation gone horribly wrong.

Psycho Shark starts by showing home video quality footage of three young girls who are vacationing in Okinawa. The girls are playing in the water and the viewer is left waiting for a “shark attack”….come on with a title like Psycho Shark and footage of beautiful girls playing in the ocean you know what you are waiting for. Instead of the shark attack though the viewer is treated with footage of a young girl watching the television and scattered scenes of grisly nonshark related death. This opening once again is John Hisiri’s way of messing with the viewer since there is an overabundance of “found footage” films being launched upon the market one could easily dismiss Psycho Shark from this opening sequence as being a film filled with various home videos of a psycho shark attacking local tourists. It is only after this opening and the credit sequence does the film start.
When the film starts again the viewer is introduced to Mai and Miki, two attractive young girls who are in the back of a pickup truck driven by a stranger named Kenji. The girls are obviously excited about their vacation and thankful to their new friend for giving them a ride to the resort where they are staying. When the girls arrive at the resort they are shown their room and told that the resort offers all of its visitors a video camera so that they can record their memories, the two girls immediately get excited and start filming each other while on vacation.

During the start of Psycho Shark the viewer is treated to home video style film making as Miki and Mai discuss their vacation and how beautiful the beach is, again one is led to believe that they are going to witness Jaws as a point of view movie. It isn’t until the girls are separated and Mai once again runs into Kenji and decides to leave her friend to go have some barbeque do things start to get interesting.

While Mai is out eating Miki finds a small cassette hidden under her bed. Since none of the channels on the television seem to be working Miki decides to entertain herself by watching the footage that is on the tape. As she starts to watch the viewer discovers that she is actually watching the footage from the beginning of the film and soon things start to become dark and twisted when a familiar face in Kenji suddenly makes an appearance on the video. Psycho Shark then turns into a paranoia fueled trip as Miki tries to explain what she has seen on the video to Mai who continues to keep running into Kenji who may or may not be who they think he is. Okay so now some of the title makes sense Psycho….but where is the shark?

John Hisiri’s film is decent for its budget and relies on paranoia for its scares and it works very effectively. There isn’t a whole lot of the red stuff floating around in the water for this one so gore hounds might find this one boring; however fans of such films as Vacancy are going to enjoy this one. The title of the film might not make much sense but it isn’t until near the tail end of the film that the viewer finally gets to see the shark in what can only be described as one of the worst CGI crimes committed to film, it made me about spit my soda all over my flat screen its that funny!

Psycho Shark though heavy on the psycho doesn’t have enough shark in it and though it is an entertaining film I wonder if John Hisiri was confused about which direction to take his film perhaps in his next one he will rely on a more straight forward approach with his subject matter.

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