Horror-Comedy is a tough hybrid to master, since you’re balancing two seemingly incompatible emotional states. On the high end of this spectrum, you have films like An American Werewolf In London, in which you have fully developed characters, genuinely hilarious moments, and also genuinely terrifying ones. On the low end you have something from Uwe Boll’s resume, like House Of The Dead, which fails to either make you laugh or cringe (Well. . . cringe in terror, at least).
Piranha 2010 falls somewhere in the middle. I laughed at times, and was suitably creeped out by some of the underwater shots in 3D, but this is completely hollow entertainment. American Werewolf has a scene where the titular character wakes up naked in the wolf cage at the zoo. A hilarious scene, and one that simultaneously moves the story forward and foreshadows the impending tragedy. Piranha has a scene where a guy’s dick is bitten off, and then burped out.
Don’t get me wrong; This movie is fun. There’s some great gore, tons of ridiculous T & A, and some very effective 3D shots. But it might have been nice if there were a bit of weight to the proceedings. In the original film, Joe Dante did a great job of acknowledging the silliness of the scenario, while also making the piranhas themselves absolutely horrifying. There are moments in that film that reach a Night Of The Living Dead level of apocalyptic terror. Whereas here, we simply laugh at the idiotic teenagers being shredded alive.
The acting was pretty bad in this, particularly by Elisabeth Shue. The Richard Dreyfuss cameo actually made me slightly angry (Really? You’re going to reference/mock Jaws, the greatest underwater monster film of all time, while I’m looking at a ridiculous CG whirlpool?). And the lighthearted tone actually made this film feel more drawn out and boring at times, since you don’t really care who lives and who dies.
Quibbles aside,if you’re a hardcore horror fan, this is a must see. If you’re looking for something with a little depth, I would search elsewhere.