The Sand (2015)

I kind of appreciate what “The Sand” is going for. It tries to be a summer time survival movie that evokes “The Raft” from “Creepshow II” with a bit of “The Blob” for good measure. The problem is that it spends so much time on unlikable characters and ridiculous plot points that it feels like a sub-par prequel to a good movie. The film literally ends on a scene that made me think “That is the movie I want to see!” Set on the night after a graduation, a group of friends go out on to the beach for a night of drinking, and teenage antics. Little do they know that a small gooey ball they’ve discovered is some kind of substance that is alive, and has embedded itself in the sand.

A few of the friends awaken the next morning hung over and realize that the sand is alive with the transparent creature that devours unlikely humans in the most gruesome manner. With some of the characters stuck in their cars, in lifeguard towers, and one in a metal bin as a prank, they decide to figure out a way out of the beach without touching the sand. Of course their cars won’t start, and their cell phones are locked in their trunks, so the odds of any of them getting off the sand without being eaten by the sand are slim. As the heat and dehydration set in, “The Sand” becomes a manner of figuring out the sand monster’s weaknesses and abilities, and the more the characters try to outwit it, the more ravenous it becomes.

Of course, there’s a lot of baggage packed in with these characters, all of whom garner some love triangle or unspoken love for one another. I have to mention that it’s a bad idea to include Jamie Kennedy in your movie in any kind of comedic function, as he appears in a very unfunny walk on role that literally stopped the movie in its tracks and tore me out of the entire narrative. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad America decided years ago that he just wasn’t funny, but his walk on role in “The Sand” is so painful, that his character’s inevitable death just isn’t enough. The creature itself is somewhat ambiguous and a lot of what it does is kind of unsatisfying.

We’re given a big hint in the final scene that this was merely a giant jellyfish, but what was keeping that jellyfish on the beach? Was it some kind of alien or mutant jellyfish? “The Sand” wears its intentions on its sleeve as a goofy monster film with a lot of ridiculous gore and effects, I just wish it had a better narrative and more engaging characters to help it rise above abysmal in to serviceable.