Bait is an Australian and Singaporean co-production. The film is directed by Kimble Rendall, a former second-unit director on various Australian-shot Hollywood films, who had previously made his directorial debut with the slasher comedy Cut (2000). Bait is also written/executive produced by Russell Mulcahy, the well-known Australian director who has made the likes of Razorback (1984), Highlander (1986), The Shadow (1994) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), among others. Early announcements for Bait listed Mulcahy as director, although one is unsure whether that was the case and he subsequently exited the production or if this was misreporting.
Bait is a film that heads into absurdity from the moment you read its capsule premise that of a shark hunting people in a supermarket. The film itself never recovers from this. The plot set-up involves a series of improbably contrived dramas that you only get in disaster movies the hero meets his ex with a new boyfriend; another girl is arrested for shoplifting by her police officer father; an armed robbery going wrong. Bad writing and dialogue cliches abound. Much of the film seems contrived in order to show the maximum amount of teens in bikinis and/or with buffed physiques.
Bait is a film that is entirely one of schlock effect. The film is constantly throwing up ridiculous images that leaves unable to stop laughing of Qi Yuwu in a shark cage made up of shopping trolleys and with cans of food for weights wading through the water to get to a power switch; Adrian Jessup struggling to get into a ventilation duct and the shark leaping out of the water between the aisles to devour him; Phoebe Tonkin trying to batter the sharks snout with a meat tenderiser; and the final despatch that involves Xavier Samuel jumping to hang upside down from a set of pipes and fire a taser into the oncoming sharks mouth and electrocute it. Some of the worst scenes are those between Lincoln Lewis and Cariba Heine as an airheaded teen couple trapped in a car in the carpark. Though their car is covered by water and a shark is prowling outside, the two of them sit there bitching at one another about cellphone coverage and whether or not he should use her Gucci shoes to break the windscreen and whether they are real or fake shoes. These scenes come with moments of prize bad dialogue such as Cariba Heines accusation: Youre a dog murderer. Thats worse than a people murderer.
Piranha (2010) showed the amusing possibilities of filming an animal attack film in 3D and is something that Bait and several other films having taken this as a source of inspiration. The filming of Bait for 3D leads to even further absurdities. Indeed, the films credibility collapses within the first few minutes when we get a shark jumping straight up out of the water, snapping a surfboard in two, devouring the surfer and then snapping its jaws into camera. Elsewhere we get absurd into-the-audiences-lap shots such as where cogs fly through the air to impale someone in the forehead or of severed feet floating out of the sharks mouth and into camera. To cap off and make a silly film even more absurd, Bait ends on a passover with the final image being of a seagull flying away from the devastation out to sea, only for another shark to jump out of the water and into camera to devour it.
(Winner in this sites Worst Films of 2012 list).