Written by Peter Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg
Directed by Alexandre Aja
Julie Forester...Elizabeth Shue
Jake Forester...Steven R. McQueen
Derrick Jones...Jerry O'Connel
Deputy Fallon...Ving Rhames
Mr. Goodman...Christopher Lloyd
Matt Boyd...Richard Dreyfuss
Do you like boobs? Do you like blood? Do you like that fat kid from Stand by Me? Do you like movies where Eli Roth gets his head crushed? And, most of all, do you like fish? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then have I got a film for you!
French horror filmmaer Alexandre Aja's remake of the cult-classic 1978 film Piranha follows the same basic plot of the original: that is, a small lake town is terrorized by an outbreak of attacks by the flesh-eating fishies. It's Jaws-lite, and although the fish in question may be much smaller than a great white, there's also a whole lot more of them...meaning they can strike in multiple places at once--which, unfortunately, isn't used to its full potential.
Regardless, it's that time of year in the vacation town of Lake Victoria, when the citizens of the town are outnumbered ten-to-one by tourists eager to get inebriated and drop top and trou, screaming "wooooo!" at the top of their lungs. In other words, it's Spring Break. The worst possible time for a plague of piranha to hit. Talk about killing a buzz, man.
The film centers around a few distinct groups of people as they struggle to survive, each one with at least one member of the Forester Family. Mama (aka SHERIFF) Forester leads a team of seismologists as they investigate a strange earth quake that occurred just prior to the attacks. Jake Forester tags along with a crew of hornballs as they film a knock-off Girls Gone Wild video, simultaneously trying to score with and protect Kelly, the girl of his dreams. And then little Laura and Zane Forester, the unlikeliest of survivors, who trapse around in search of Huck Finn adventures when they're supposed to be safe at home.
But don't worry. To keep things interesting, the camera often pans to some random half-nude fish fodder, and the red stuff begins to fly.
This is definitely a departure from Aja's earlier work. Haute Tension and The Hills Have Eyes, for example, were balls-to-the-wall horror. Piranha is tongue-in-cheek horror, never afraid to go for the gross out or the guffaw. It wears its inspirations and its influences on its sleeve, and while far from original (even as far as remakes go), it can be a hell of a lot of fun if you go in with proper expectations.
This is the perfect film for the drive-in, not the opera house.
So grab a beer, pop some popcorn, and sit down with a few buddies. Pretty soon, you will be inebriated and shouting "woooo" at the top of your lungs. But please...keep your clothes on.
"This is what it's all about: Beer, sun, and naked hunnies making out underwater."