The Requin (Digital)

January 31, 2022 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

When it comes to the world of shark attack films, I think we can all agree that it probably could/should begin and end with Jaws. Stephen Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece was riddled with troubles during the shoot (they couldn’t get the shark to work), but the “less is more” approach is something that worked and helped make it one of our most beloved horror classics. Imitation, however, is the most sincere form of flattery and over the last 40+ years we’ve seen more than a few filmmakers try their hand with the “shark attack” genre. To be fair, it is a real thing. It’s not like shark attacks don’t happen, so I can see where there’s a vested interest. But if you’re like me, every time you set foot in the ocean (or even a pool, for that matter) I’m willing to bet that there might be just a little part of you that might expect to get pulled under and become the snack of a Great White shark. Filmmaker L-Van Kiet, whose 2019 film Furie was held in high regard, took a stab at the genre. Here’s the result.

Married couple Jaelyn (Alicia Silverstone) and Kyle (James Tupper) are having some difficulties in their life. The couple attempted an at-home water birth that went, well, not as expected. As a result the two are now dealing with that as well as discord in their relationship. Thinking that an island getaway will solve their problems, the two rent a floating room in Vietnam. Things seem fine other than Jaelyn can’t get WiFi. But as a freak storm approaches and launches their room into the ocean, things seem to go from bad to worse. Kyle is injured, there’s no help in sight and now the duo are at the mercy of the savage seas. Adding fuel to the fire, a shark seems to want to make them its next meal. Now what?

If there was no desire to look up what “requin” meant, don’t worry – I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. It literally means “shark.” Yep, that’s what to expect when watching this piece of trash. Actually, before I bash the movie itself, it really wasn’t that bad, it was the visual effects. They suck. I mean, they suck! When you see a floating house in the ocean with waves going under it and don’t see the house move – that’s bad. IMDb lists one of their facts about the film as it has over 1000 VFX shots. That might be so, but none of them are good. I think a 10 year-old with an iPad could have probably done a better job. And to top it off, this movie was filmed at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida with use of a green screen. I realize that time is relative, but if you want to make 89 minutes feel like three hours, then by all means – check out The Requin.

Video: How’s it look?

If you put aside the awful visual effects, the movie doesn’t look too bad (again, taking into consideration that they’re filming in Florida and trying to pass it off as Vietnam). Alicia Silverstone, that cute teenager we remember from movies like The Crush or Clueless, is now in her mid 40’s and showing it. I’m sorry, I realize that not everyone can look like some Hollywood starlets, but she’s got the resources to get a little nip and tuck. But that’s probably not my business. There are some nice shots of the sunset and such, but also a lot of stock footage. yes, that’s right, stock footage of sharks swimming underwater.  Of the shots that they made for the movie, they look nice, but there are certainly more worthy films and television shows to fill your screen.

Audio: How’s it sound?

I chose to rent this via Apple TV where my receiver was showing a Dolby TrueHD mix. I don’t have any idea if that’s true or not, but it sounded fine to me. There aren’t a lot of surround effects that filled the air, rather I was thinking if I could survive a drinking game in which every time Alicia Silverstone’s character let out one of her primal, voice-cracking screams. It’s a seemingly passible audio mix that serves its purpose, but not much more.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The release contains no supplemental material.

The Bottom Line

I could look past the plot if I felt that the filmmakers at least tried to make an entertaining movie. Based on the sheer laziness of the CGI, I assume that wasn’t the case. Silverstone is…OK in her role, though she was upstaged by James Tupper (of Big Little Lies fame), though maybe don’t get too attached to him. If you want to watch a great shark movie, watch Jaws or, hell, even Deep Blue Sea. If the solo thing is what you’re after, go for The Shallows instead (Blake Lively is much more attractive than Alicia Silverstone anyway). Other than that, don’t feel bad by letting this one pass you by.

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