Katharine McPhee and David R. Ellis on How Shark Night is Like Arachnophobia and The Birds
In David R. Ellis's Shark Night 3D, American Idol star-turned-actress Katharine McPhee plays Beth, a "tough chick party girl" who, with a group of fellow co-eds, heads to a summer beach house one weekend only to find the waters infested with hungry, deadly sharks. It's scary stuff, she and Ellis, say, but don't go in expecting the usual boobs 'n' blood exploitation-fest.
"This movie is just a really smart, well-written movie with great character arcs, great twists," Ellis -- who previously directed Snakes on a Plane -- told Movieline at Comic-Con, "without having to have gratuitous nudity or language. Jaws was PG-13. The Birds. All those really great horror films."
A creature feature about co-ed victims that isn't rated R or gratuitous -- what kind of horror movie is this, you may ask? "I think people are jaded these days," said McPhee. "They think anything that's scary has to be loaded with nudity or bad language. I think that's so uncreative, and it's also so predictable."
To wit: Ellis and McPhee both played Movieline's My Favorite Scene, picking out horror movie creature features that didn't resort to titillation for effective scares.
"The Birds!" Ellis recalled. "The birds attacking Tippi Hedren is a great scene."
Meanwhile, McPhee named a horror gem from her own generation. "Arachnophobia, do you remember that movie? As a little kid I wasn't allowed to see that movie, but I was at a friend's house and I had to go home from a sleepover because I couldn't sleep that whole night. It freaked me out."
Shark Night 3D hits theaters September 2.