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Flesh-eating fish feast on fear of water

With a movie like <em>Piranha 3D</em>, it’ s pretty safe to assume you know what you’ re going to get.

With a movie like Piranha 3D, it’ s pretty safe to assume you know what you’ re going to get.
In fact, if there were any doubt, director Alexandre Aja recently described the film as a mix between Gremlins, Weird Science and Dead Alive.

“It is funny,” exclaimed star Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl) from Manhattan. “I think you’ ll laugh, you’ ll be very scared and entertained — it’ s a scary, funny, summer popcorn movie.”

Even the studio’ s marketing department has picked up on Piranha 3D’ s potential as a fun summer movie. The film’ s poster fittingly pays homage to Steven Spielberg’ s classic Jaws but while that 1975 thriller featured a menacing shark, Piranha 3D stars a mutated form of nasty omnivorous freshwater fish.

“(The filmmakers) based it off a prehistoric piranha, so it’ s not like your modern-day piranha, and they kind of decided to make it look like what they thought a prehistoric one would look like,” said Szohr. Indeed, the species in the thriller is definitely bigger, uglier and much nastier — especially in 3-D. “It’ ll be fun (to see) with the piranhas popping out at you and all the craziness that goes on.”

Presumably, Hollywood will be banking on flesh-eating fish to have the same effect Jaws had on audiences more than 30 years ago — fear of the water. Even more than three-dimensional seafood, that natural phobia may be the true potency of Piranha 3D.

“We don’ t know what’ s going on (underwater). You can’t see and you can only go under for so long if you want to check out what’ s going on. It’ s just a whole mystery of what is there,” said Szohr with a dramatic pause. “…Or what’ s not.”

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