Main cast: Brooke Butler (Kaylee), Mitchel Musso (Mitch), Dean Geyer (Jonah), Meagan Holder (Chanda), Cynthia Murell (Ronnie), and Cleo Berry (Gilbert)
Director: Isaac Gabaeff
I’m sure the premise of The Sand sounds pretty interesting on paper, but the end result is a big fat meh. Simply put, it is about a bunch of teenagers on Spring Break who were busy partying and doing the usual. Two of them find an unusual thing along the beach, and perhaps it is because they are so inebriated that they think it is a good idea to bring something that looks like a rejected prop from a SyFy movie to the rest of the gang. Well, when a few partygoers wake up the morning after, they realize that everyone else has vanished. It isn’t long because they realize that touching the sand is fatal – something underneath is sending up feeler-thingies that can digest the person and drag that poor sod right underneath, where presumably some big monster will happily enjoy the meal.
It’s soon evident that the few teens that are still alive manage to avoid being chow because they were asleep with something separating them from the sand – Jonah, his girlfriend Chanda, and their friends Vance and Ronnie were sleeping in Jonah’s car while Kaylee, Jonah’s ex, and her lifeguard buddy Mitch were in the lifeguard station. Poor Gilbert is stuffed into a trash can as a joke, and now he’s stuck right there, protected from the monster but completely helpless and immobile. What will these people do?
Well, they mostly scream at one another. In Jonah’s case, scream at Mitch and Kaylee over ex issues, while poor Gilbert wonders whether everyone has gone mad. They also do stupid things, but at the rare moments when they do come up with something actually workable, someone will trip and, oops, dead. The script seems to be a first time draft written by teenagers – how old are Alex Greenfield and Ben Powell anyway? – because it’s so contrived and predictable. There are so many moments here that are the equivalent of someone tripping onto the ground while being chased by a monster that I can only roll up my eyes and concentrate instead on looking at Dean Geyer’s nipples. Yes, that guy obligingly goes shirtless in all his scenes here, while for those who like the ladies, I’m sad to report that the girl who is topless in her scenes gets eaten up pretty early.
And, seriously, who did the CGI? Whoever that is, I can only wonder whether it was done while that person is in a state of sobriety because it is truly bad. When the monster or its appendages make an appearance, it’s like watching an ancient Atari game puking up pixels on the screen. As if I need any more reminder that everything in this movie is fake.
The cast, surprisingly for a monster schlockfest that never sees a full theatrical release, is pretty competent and some of the terrified moments are well acted by the ladies. Therefore, it’s a shame that the script ends up being pretty lifeless, topped off by CGI that suggests that the folks behind the special effects vastly overestimated either their abilities or the budget they have to play with.