Monday, November 8, 2021

Great White (2021)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Great White (2021)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Thrills & Spills, Altitude Media Group, Chop Shop Post, Cornerstone Pictures, Filmology Finance, Piccadilly Pictures, ProdigyMovies, Truth or Dare, Golden Village Pictures, Just Entertainment, RLJE Films, A Contracorriente Films, EuroVideo, Synapse, Shudder
Director: Martin Wilson
Writers: Michael Boughen
Actors: Aaron Jakubenko, Jason Wilder, Kate Jaggard, Katrina Bowden, Kimie Tsukakoshi, Patrick Atchison, Tatjana Marjanovic, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Tim Kano
IMDb Blurb: A fun filled flight to a remote atoll turns into a nightmare for five passengers when their seaplane is destroyed in a freak accident and they are trapped on a raft, 100 miles from shore with man-eating sharks lurking beneath the surface.

Cat’s Point of View:
Great White originally came to our attention while working on our Top 20 Movies Coming Out in July 2021 article. It made my list at #20. This seemed right at home in the summer blockbuster season and just in time for the annual shark-centric content shown on both Nat Geo and Discovery Channels. 
The trailer for Great White was well done and gave me a sense of the drama and thrills in store. It didn’t try to promise anything sensational that the actual movie couldn’t deliver. That’s a huge pet peeve of mine. If it’s in the trailer, an audience will expect to see it. I am still irked, to this day, about a scene in the original trailer for Twister (1996) that wasn’t in the actual film. It was a gotcha moment meant to jump-scare the audience and draw them into the theater, but apparently was left on the cutting room floor when it came to the final edit. I digress… The point is, what the trailer offers, the production delivers.

There were a few points that made Great White stand out to me over the usual shark movie tropes. It’s not often you see a shark vs. plane scenario that’s realistic. We’re not talking Air Jaws (2001) type action or anything as corny as that. It was a well-thought moment within the story that made sense, given the situation.
Another tidbit that grabbed my attention was the fact that Great White was being handled by the same Executive Producers as 47 Meters Down (2017). That was a fantastic shark horror-thriller full of dread and stellar shark action. It gave me hope that we’d see mostly accurate depictions of the massive sea predators. I’m happy to relate that this was generally the case. There were a few moments that the sharks made sounds that the actual live animals simply do not make, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the moment or the film.

The production for Great White got a lot of bang for their effects bucks. I believed the sharks on the screen. They felt a natural part of the scenery and interacted with their environment. No cheesy effects here, folks! I particularly appreciated how the different views provided insight into the sharks vs the human castaways – whether by aerial or underwater shots.
Great White’s cast was firing on all cylinders. There were some dramatic nuances that layered into the story beyond the whole ‘oh no we’re stranded and being hunted by sharks’ plot points. Without that extra bit of character development, it would have made it harder to get through the lulls in activity. Critics seem to be beating Great White up over said lulls, saying that it made it boring. I have to disagree. While there wasn’t a lot of action through some scenes, the tension remained high because when you couldn’t see the shark, you didn’t know when it would strike. It highlighted the natures of the humans and how they dealt with the crisis and each other. Everyone gave a really solid performance.
All told, Great White might not be the most innovative or flashiest shark movie of all time, but it was entertaining and definitely worth the watch if you have a Shudder subscription.
Great White premieres on Shudder November 11th, 2021. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score –42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –20%
Metascore –45%
Metacritic User Score – 4.3/10
IMDB Score – 4.1/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer:

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