Review: Ghost Shark

Sharknado set a new standard for ridiculous awesomeness. Coming only a month or so after, Ghost Shark is bound to be compared to the instant classic that preceded it. While it has its moments, it is never able to achieve the spectacular and sustained lunacy of Sharknado. At times it definitely comes close.

We begin on a boat at night. A bunch of hillbillies who seem to have wandered over from Duck Dynasty are fishing in an attempt to win a $30,000 prize. When a great white shark kills their prize before they can reel it in, they kill it by snagging the shark with a crossbow and then plopping a grenade into its mouth. Almost immediately the shark turns into a ghost and kills everyone on the boat. 

Cut to teenagers at the beach. Ava (Mackenzie Rosman), Blaise (Dave Davis), and their friends are swimming and enjoying rides on a jet ski. The translucent ghost shark ruins the fun by biting a girl on the jet ski in half. Of course, when the teens tell the sheriff that a see-through shark is the killer, they are laughed at. He will become a believer soon enough. This shark is (apparently) out to kill the entire town and get its vengeance.

The first half of Ghost Shark is full of gloriously absurd moments that rival Sharknado in there total outlandishness. See, as one of the teens figures out, the ghost shark can manifest itself in water. That means the shark kills people in swimming pools, on slip n’ slides, at a car wash, and under the kitchen sink. There are some hilariously preposterous and gory kills, and for a while the movie is appropriately bonkers and fun.

Then we hit the midpoint and it really drags. The kills come to a stop and the movie spends a lot of time on panicking public officials and the teenagers researching the town’s past. They get the lowdown from the requisite creepy, crazy old man, played by Richard Moll. It’s incredibly dull, and the ghost shark is sorely missed.

When he returns, though, he does so in style. The best kill involves a water cooler and a guy split in two. It needs to be seen to be believed. There are some great moments of unintentional hilarity as well, like when the aforementioned crazy old man is talking about his dead wife and (in voiceover) says “she would tend to get violent” as he literally strangles her while holding her underwater on screen.

Unfortunately, by the end, the dullness returns. Unlike Sharknado, which peaked at the end with its hero flying through a shark with a chainsaw, in Ghost Shark there’s a book of spells and some other nonsense. No matter. I will remember that guy and his seemingly innocent cup of water. That scene is a keeper. Ghost Shark has enough of them to keep your attention, though not enough to warrant must-see status.

Ghost Shark airs on the Syfy Channel on Thursday, August 22 at 9 pm EST. 

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