Movie Review: Nightmare Shark (2018)

Synopsis: A group of people suffering from nightmares travel to a remote mountain property to participate in a paid drug trial. When they arrive, they learn they are all dreaming about the same shark and their nightmares have a supernatural cause.

Who's in it? The movie stars Tony Amendola, Bobby Campo, Rachel Brooke Smith, Lulu Jovovich and Caroline Cole.

Review: I came across this movie a few weeks ago and finally was able to get my skeptical wife to watch it with me. Mostly because of the title, we both started the movie with lowered expectations but, overall, I do have to say it exceeded them.

I originally thought this would be a shark-themed rip off of A Nightmare on Elm Street. However, while the movie obviously drew inspiration from that film and even had a couple scenes that were very similar, there was just enough difference in the plot to make the film somewhat unique.

The idea of a supernatural shark that invades people's dreams because of a near-death experience in the hopes of finding a portal to the real world was definitely interesting. However, I also thought the mystery surrounding their host, Novak (Amendola) was even more interesting. It was obvious he was up to something, but it wasn't clear exactly what he was trying to do.

While I think the premise gave this movie some potential, the overall execution could have used a lot more work. I liked the fact the movie re-used surviving characters from other shark-related movies, like Trailer Park Shark. However, the writers apparently assumed I had both seen those other movies and, just as important, remembered the characters from those films when they probably should have done a slightly better job filling in the backstories, in case that wasn't the case.

I'm also not really sure why Novak invited the other survivors at all since he was obviously obsessed with Ava (Cole). It felt like they were just there to increase the body count. 

I was definitely not crazy about the way this movie ended. I think I understood the gist of it, and, like other parts of the movie, it was likely based on the way A Nightmare on Elm Street ended but it was kind of messy and hard to follow. I'm honestly not even sure the filmmakers could have fixed that ending and probably should have just gone in a completely different direction.

Final Opinion: It was better than I was expecting but poor execution prevented this movie from living up to its potential.

My Grade: C-


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