Monday, January 2, 2023



You know how ever horror subgenre runs the risk of repetition? We can only have so many high school reunion slashers and inbred rural cannibal families run amok before we need to do SOMETHING original, like send our earth-bound maniac to space. 

I haven't seen a Saw-inspired And Then There Were None-ish film make it off the earth just yet (and yes, consider this a formal request) but now it pleases me TREMENDOUSLY to announce that I've seen something I never even thought should exist, and yet now, I can't imagine how I lived without it:

a Jigsaw count'em down where Jigsaw is essentially a shark. 

Quick Plot: We open to find a smarmy lawyer named Henry shackled above a large indoor swimming pool, a deep automated voice warning him that he's about to meet his fate. Cue the countdown timer, screamed pleas, and chain drag into water where ominous chomping tones sound. 

Henry, of course, is just the appetizer. It's time to meet the main dinner party guests, all of whom are hiding some kind of crime that the late defense attorney helped them evade. Zara, a young woman whose husband is rotting in jail for something she hints at being responsible for, is arguably our hero, though that's really just because she gets the most screentime. 

Everyone seems pretty terrible. So yes, this is a Saw knockoff...


That's really all there is to say. Characters scramble to confess their sins when the timer goes off, never being honest enough to merit full forgiveness. A repeated underwater view of a decently CGI-rendered shark swims by, screaming happens, and BAM! We're out in 80 minutes.

The cast is serviceable, though it's a missed opportunity that they don't get to dig very deep. There's little in the way of surprise: even the big twist is a callback to the genre's foundation. Director Dominic Nutter (whose current only other film is, what do you know, a CGI dinosaur movie) only has so many tools (and angles of the CGI shark), and the script by Matthew B.C. and Dominic Ellis seems to know its own limits.  

High Points
Folks, it's a Saw ripoff with a shark. If you needed more out of life, I'm left wondering if we're actually the same species

Low Points
You do get the sense that the cast has something more to offer than just scream, but the script just doesn't seem to have time to care to find out

Lessons Learned
We learned from Jaws: The Revenge that sharks can scream, and now Blood In the Water tells us they also-

Look, I'm not here to tell you that Blood In the Water is better than average or not, you know, a straight-to-streaming CGI-heavy horror without much in the way of a point. BUT IT'S A SAW MOVIE THAT ISN'T A SAW MOVIE WITH A SHARK. I don't know what you're not getting about this. 

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