Yes, Dawson was an unlikeable narcissist, but so was everyone else on Dawson’s Creek. We can’t hold that against James Van Der Beek because he is a very competent and likeable actor. He stars in this addition to the Maneater collection by SyFy, Eye of the Beast, in which he plays the Richard Dreyfus character from Jaws. It’s directed by Gary Yates who I don’t know, but he has directed 15 Hallmark Christmas films. I don’t know what that means but it means something.
A giant squid is terrorizing a small fishing town, but is the real evil the head fisherman, Gunnar, who doesn’t want to face facts? Yes, because the squid is just doing his thing while the fisherman is just thinking about that sweet sweet cash he gets from fishing. I don’t really know why the head fisherman doesn’t want the squid captured because the squid is also eating all the fish he is supposed to catch. Humans are complicated.
James the scientist comes to help the sheriff figure out what is happening (and to teach her to love again). Their relationship is a big part of the film since they fancy each other and everyone else in town hates him for some reason. There is also some drama between the native fishermen and the white fishermen. This film is really a character study in a “they probably couldn’t afford to show a lot of the squid” way.
As in Jaws, the out-of-town scientist and the sheriff are the only ones that believe there is a monster and as in Jaws, everyone is angry that there are safety precautions because of the monster. The townspeople’s reactions are much more believable after Covid, since we actually know now that a whole part of society reacts exactly like that to a threat they can’t see.
For a Jaws rip-off, it’s quite good. The performances really carry the movie since there isn’t a lot of monster action, but they are working with a fine script, so it goes down smoothly. The monster is, like all the monsters from this series, bad CGI, but it works.