Ken B Wild
'The Requin' aka 'From Below' Review: Shart Infested!
Updated: Apr 17, 2022
Dir: Le-Van Kiet
Release Date: 2022
“A couple on a romantic getaway find themselves stranded at sea when a tropical storm sweeps away their villa. In order to survive, they are forced to fight the elements, while sharks are starting to circle...”
I have a total weak spot for shark movies and will watch anything shark related. I say that but I gave up on the Sharknado films as they were bad purely for the 'Bad' badge.
My favourite film ever is Jaws and my favourite terrible shark film is Shark Attack 3: Megalodon so I think you get the idea of range here. Credentials established.
Fun Fact: Requin refers to Requiem Shark which in turn relates to any shark of the family Carcharhinidae, occurring mostly in tropical seas and characterized by a nictitating membrane and a heterocercal tail. The family includes the tiger shark and the soupfin.
This had an estimated budge of $8.5m so where the Hell that went, I do not know.
Be warned, the trailer shows you pretty much everything.
Alicia Silverstone (remember her) is back and she really tries her hardest throughout this mess which was good to see and I'll admit, this did make me laugh on more than one occasion though I am certain that was not the intention.
This has some amazingly bad CGI and green screen scenes right from the beginning even when they are just sitting in their villa talking.
Fun Fact: The production was filmed at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
Silverstone plays Jaelyn, a woman with a backstory of a tragic but ultimately irrelevant still-birth experience along with her husband, Kyle (James Tupper).
The connection is they use this to take a trip to off-season Vietnam to try to reconnect and heal some personal issues which pretty much never goes well in movies.
Continuing that tradition, I'm not sure this Vietnam getaway could have gone much worse for these two unless Chuck Norris or Rambo turned up as well.
Ominous warnings of a storm approaching are overlooked as they try to just enjoy their time together.
A Tropical storm hits and, even though they sleep with their windows open, they don't even notice until someone from the complex calls them and asks if they want to be relocated.
Regrettably, they say they'll be okay and their villa proceeds to be swept out to sea giving us one of the worst CGI images committed to film in recent cinematic history.
I'll also admit here that I like Alicia Silverstone and follow her on Instagram and I've never seen this image on her posts (unless it was a Story) so I cannot claim authenticity.
What I can claim, however, is that this IS an image from the movie that is supposed to represent where they were staying, now floating on the open ocean. Amazing
During the storm, Kyle has picked up a leg wound which pisses blood into the sea like Chief Brody was chumming in the next room.
Still no bastard sharks turn up which gives us time for more inane chat and one more absolutely awful and ridiculous decision.
A plane and a ship fail to see them waving for rescue so they confer and decide to do the only logical thing... SET FIRE TO THE THING THEY'RE FLOATING ON!
Imagine if, instead of saying the classic line, "We're gonna need a bigger boat", Brody had said, "We're gonna need to set fire to our boat".
He'd have been thrown overboard!
Sadly, their doesn't go as well as they somehow imagined it going and they are now left clinging to only a few bits of wood instead of the relative comfort of an entire room.
Jaelyn sees a fin in the water as they struggle to get to a larger floating area and we are treated to a couple of spinning shots of water movements and a fin or two.
Amidst their panic, they make it to the other wood before the fins are revealed as dolphins! Those playful bastards! Oh how they laugh.
Fun Fact: We are an hour into this film before any actual shark shit goes down.
Kyle is still haemorrhaging more blood than I believe anyone could be and FINALLY a couple of sharks turns up to nibble on him.
He is pulled away from Jaelyn and is then dragged under a couple of times. Thankfully, Jaelyn has a stick and hits out at the sharks and they don't like that at all.
They float for a while longer until she suddenly sees land and head towards it by wildly splashing like a maniac.
They make it to the land, much to her relief.
Unfortunately, she has failed to notice that Kyle has been dead for some time due to the fact that he has no legs.
She's very upset by this as she drags herself onto the beach while Kyle gets dragged back out to sea and ripped apart by sharks which makes her fall asleep instantly.
She wakes up to find she's back in the water as the tide has come in. The water depth varies greatly but the sharks don't care as they come back and have a go at her.
She gets her leg savaged but somehow still fights the bastards off and eventually remembers that she should get OUT of the water to ensure no further attacks.
She stumbles across the beach and climbs some rocks to see a small fishing pod floating nearby. HOORAY!
She immediately jumps straight back into the water (d'oh!) and makes her way over to it, finding a drunk fisherman sleeping on board.
Instead of leaving immediately, he very crudely stitches her leg up with a fishing hook and line which gives us some nice bloody injury detail. Jaelyn has another nap.
Jaelyn wakes to find herself alone in the pod as the fisherman has decided to dive straight into the ocean to collect his baskets before setting off to safety. It's how he makes a living I guess.
It's also how he meets his death as the water spreads with blood and his hand floats up to wave to Jaelyn. She tries to raise the anchor and get out of there.
I'd like to think she may have had the idea that she should set fire to herself but they never make it clear.
Fun Fact: We have now dispensed with multiple sharks and reverted to the classic single, large and 'evil' shark with one, focused target.
Finding a motor boat propeller in the pod, she revs it up as the sharks leaps up at her and grinds it into its poor little face.
Now angry (?!) this shark attacks again and again to get at Jaelyn and she gets herself and the pod flipped over and she's in the water. AGAIN!!
As a jeopardy bonus, Jaelyn is also wrapped up in the rope attached to the anchor so she's trying to raise that as well as fending off a vengeful shark.
As luck would have it, the shark attacks from directly beneath and, just before finally eating the only thing it has found in the last 20 minutes, it eats the anchor which has a spike pierce its brain and eye!
What are the chances?
Jaelyn climbs back to the top of the pod and drifts back towards shore where she is seen by other fishermen and presumably rescued.
Fun Fact: The last thing that happens is she sees a sign on a buoy (not a boy) saying 'Danger Beyond This Point', and looks at the camera, raises her eyebrow and gives us a kind of 'Ha!' look.
When offered a relocation by resort staff due to the severity of an incoming storm, would you not bow to their local knowledge?
Do sharks hate small pieces of wood so much they'll stop feeding?
Once attacked by a shark, which results in the death of a loved one, would you go straight back into the ocean at every opportunity?
Why did Jaelyn not use that boat propeller to actually propel the boat to safety?
Do sharks, though repelled by of small pieces of wood, still insist on attacking after receiving a propeller to the face?
How often is EVERY SINGLE decision you make the wrong one?
Did Jaelyn and Kyle burn the $8.5m budget as well?
The movie is currently available on DVD.
Out of 3 'real' characters, it has to be Jaelyn played by Alicia Silverstone who tried to remain upbeat even when she had no reason to do so and kept going regardless.
Setting fire to the only thing they were sitting on.
Jaelyn: "That's right, motherfucker!", while hitting a shark with a small piece of wood
Kyle still having his legs savaged while Jaelyn hits sharks with a small piece of wood