Docu-drama that "beefs up" reality and tries to present the
Get What We Give | Georgia | 05/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"12 Days of Terror is essentially a made-for-TV docu-drama that intends to captitalize on the consistent ratings buster "Shark Week" programs that Discovery Channel shows during sweeps a couple times a year. However, that doesn't make this film any less interesting or, a couple of times, emotionally charged.
The docu-drama presents the basic facts of the very real, very strange shark attacks that took place on the Jersey shore in 1916, when several people were attacked by a shark (or sharks) and subsequently died as a result of the attacks. Since it had only been a few years previous that people began to actually take swims in the ocean, the fear that these events induced was very real and very damaging to the burgeoning seaside resorts. One of the more bizarre aspects to the attacks is the fact that apparently one or more sharks made their way up Mattewan creek ( a freshwater creek) and took the life of a small boy and then that of the boy's would-be rescuer. Then, later, the shark mutilated yet a second boy.
12 Days of Terror stars former model/current TV soap opera hunk Colin Egglesfield as the lead in the film. Egglesfield will probably never win any acting awards, but this isn't a big budget film either. Egglesfield holds his own fairly well and isn't painfully bad, and at moments, even displays some thoughtful acting chops. Egglesfield, who is in just about every scene, is the emotional center of the film, and acts as "Everyman" in his reactions to the events that play out.
The script is based on a book which documents the true tragic events on the Jersey shore during the summer of 1916. The storyline has been adjusted to make it a bit more cinematic and dramatic. It doesn't really hurt the story, but it does make it seem that certain people were involved more consistently than they were.
Egglesfield's real life counterpart was certainly involved in two of the deaths, but beyond that he was not. The writers obviously wanted to create a linear lead for the film. The part of the fisherman (John Rhys-Davies) is a large supporting part, however, in reality, the fisherman only provided assistance when the shark was discovered in the creek. Rhys-Davies method of over-acting certainly balances Egglesfield's sub-acting.
What would have made the film a bit more robust is more background information on the era itself. Modern audiences are often uninformed and quick to dismiss historic events because they don't know the "why" aspects of the situation. More emphasis on the naivete of the experts with regard to sharks would have really helped. Instead, we only see that the shark expert keeps attempting to interview our male lead to learn more about what actually happened. That isn't effective in demonstrating what was known or believed at the time - more information should be shown so that we can see the difference between what was believed 90 years ago by science and what even the lay swimmer knows today. That would have been effective.
So...the film is not exactly true to the facts...does this make it a bad film? No. The acting isn't exactly stellar. Does that make it unwatchable? No. In fact, if anything, this film is more of a teaser, enticing the viewer to go out and read the book or at the very least to learn more about the actual events that took place that fateful summer of 1916.
Worth your time if you are interested in some of the historical aspects of the events."
A shark movie with class
B. Bost | California | 11/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it's because people seemed more dignified in the early 1900's, I'm not sure, I just enjoyed watching a shark film without the sterotypical cast, including the arrogant shark hunter, a bunch of foolish babes that get eaten, etc. etc. It made me think of A and E's (Arts and Entertainment) version of, 'The Great Gatsby,' in it's design. Overall one of the better shark films."
Way better than mega shark vs. giant squid
Stuff in that attic | 02/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The movie was good. I bought it for a friend and she really liked it. Of course she's crazy about sharks and scary movies so take that as you will."
Kimberly Macdonald | 02/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you ever wanted to know what happened in 1916 in New Jersey and the shark attacks in Mattawan Creek, this is the movie to watch, its kind of bloody"