Yay! It’s an Asylum shark movie!
By this point, all of our readers should know that I love the Asylum and I love shark movies. Unfortunately, with the SyFy channel moving away from showing original films, there’s been a definite lack of Asylum shark movies on television. So, it was good of Lifetime to step up to the plate and show Deep Blue Nightmare!
(Deep Blue Nightmare was originally released, in 2020, as Shark Season. However, because Lifetime is addicted to changing the titles of the films that they acquire, the title was changed to Deep Blue Nightmare. I think either title works. Shark Season gets right to the point of the film — SHARK! — while Deep Blue Nightmare sounds a bit more lifetime-y.)
It all starts out with three acquaintances kayaking out to a remote island. One giant shark attack later and you’re down to two people, who are now isolated in the ocean. Sarah (Paige McGarvin) and Meghan (Juliana Destefano) have every reason to hate each other, seeing as Meghan was dating Sarah’s ex-boyfriend. But now that the ex-boyfriend has become shark nourishment and Sarah and Meghan are floating out in the middle of nowhere, they’re going to have to work together if they’re going to survive!
Fortunately, Sarah’s father is James (Michael Madsen) and James used to be a member of the Civil Air Patrol! If James can figure out where the island is actually located, he can direct the patrol to rescue Sarah and Meghan. But, of course, he’s going to find the island before the shark gets around to eating his daughter because, as quickly becomes apparent, the shark isn’t going anywhere.
As Steven Spielberg proved nearly fifty years ago, you really can’t go wrong with sharks. Their reputation for being the ultimate aquatic predator might be overstated but they’re certainly among the most cinematic of the creatures living in the ocean. Of course, movie sharks are always a bit more clever than real life sharks. Real life sharks just eat whatever happens to be in front of them. Movie sharks are far more calculating and they also have the ability to jump out of the water and cleanly bite someone in half whenever they feel like it. That may or may not be realistic but, in the end, it’s not reality of how a shar behaves that really matters. Instead, it’s the fact that no one wants to get eaten by a shark or lose a limb to a shark. It’s true that Bethany Hamilton managed to maintain a good attitude even after losing an arm to a shark attack but, deep down, we all know that we’re nowhere near as cool as Bethany Hamilton.
Another thing that makes sharks effective cinematic threats is that they always seem to pop up near the most tranquil of beaches and in the bluest water. In Deep Blue Nightmare, there’s quite a contrast between the beauty of the ocean and the fearsome predator that’s hunting underneath the surface. The shadow of the shark serves as a reminder of the potential chaos that lurks behind every corner. Enjoy the beach. Enjoy the water. But never forget that a shark could get you at any minute.
I enjoyed Deep Blue Nightmare. If you’re a fan of shark action, it makes for an entertaining 90 minutes. It’s always nice to see Michael Madsen playing someone other than a gangster who delivers sotto voce threats and Paige McGarvin and Julianna Destefano are likable in the lead roles. This is a film to watch the next time you find yourself missing the ocean.