Weeks ago, I was tasked to write a small little story as to whether or not the studio should bother screening the film Piranha 3-D to critics. Much to everyone’s surprise, I thought they should. Well, they didn’t heed my advice and screened it only once for a handful of critics in Los Angeles. Then a strange thing happened: the critics paid to see it anyway. And they loved it. After becoming the surprise critical hit, and garnering a fresh rating in the 80’s over on Rotten Tomatoes, a number of other critics rushed out to see what all the fuss was about -- and the number dropped. But still, as of this writing, the movie scored a very healthy 75% positive reviews. And that sent a strong message to the studio who had initially snubbed the critics that would have loved to help them out: and they greenlit a sequel.
But can Piranha work again? French horror director Alexander Aja went into this making what Eli Roth quoted him as calling "The guiltiest of guilty pleasures. A film whose pleasure comes from all the guilt." Can Aja step up the guilt in a sequel? Will he even come aboard and risk becoming known for his work on these films rather than his wider body of horror?
More importantly, what do we want from a Piranha sequel? How would they even go about making one? Well, we here at film.com have some ideas.
Yes, you read that right. The chief plot point for the terrible, partially directed by James Cameron (for a week before he was fired) sequel, we have no idea what the adult Piranha look like. We know they can jump. What if they can fly? Not only does it explain how they get away from the boring old lake in the desert we’ve already seen, but allows them to get somewhere else entirely. Besides, I want to see piranha fly out and eat motorcyclists off their bikes. No, seriously.
Poseidon Adventure 3D
How about having the giant Piranha attack a riverboat or cruise ship dedicated to gambling? Tip that badboy over, pop in a dvd of The Poseiden Adventure and take notes. In the place of worrying about drowning, have giant man-eating fish devour beautiful, half naked women. The change of scenery will be nice and prevent us from immediately sighing at "Spring Break AGAIN?"
More Doc Brown
Everything Christopher Lloyd does in this movie is pure, distilled genius. Whenever the film needed to deliver a ridiculous, completely implausible plot point without losing the audience completely, they gave it to him and he said it in a way that you almost expected him to say "Marty," at the end of each sentence. And the audience at it up with a spoon. Cannibalism? Sure, why not. Giant versions? Sure. As long as Doc Brown says it, I’ll believe it.
As the film opened, and the familiar song from Jaws was sung lightly over the credits, my wife smiled, turned to me and said “Cute, Jaws reference.” But when the film revealed the singer of the song, the movie saavy audience I was watching this with lost their minds. Piranha 3-D was filled with moments like this. The sequel should absolutely stick with it.
Think Crank 2
Crank was crazy fun. But Crank 2 was completely insane. By the time the credits rolled we knew that there was no way to top the last film while clinging to any vestige of reality – and so did the filmmakers. So they threw reality out the window and just went nuts. The result was a far superior and even more fun movie than the original.
Here's hoping that's exactly what the sequel makers shoot for!