Piranha 3D is a 2010 American comedy-horror film that serves as a loose remake of the comedy horror film Piranha (1978) and an entry in the Piranha film series. During spring break on Lake Victoria, a popular waterside resort, an underground tremor releases hundreds of prehistoric, carnivorous piranhas into the lake. Local cop Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue) must join forces with a band of unlikely strangers—though they are badly outnumbered—to destroy the ravenous creatures before everyone becomes fish food.
It was directed by Alexandre Aja and has an ensemble cast featuring Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Dina Meyer, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele, Ricardo Chavira, Paul Scheer, Christopher Lloyd and Richard Dreyfuss. A sequel, Piranha 3DD, was released in 2012.
Piranha 3D received generally positive reviews, with film critics praising it as a fun and entertaining B-movie.
Fisherman Matt Boyd is fishing in Lake Victoria when a small earthquake hits, splitting the lake floor and causing a whirlpool. Boyd falls in and is ripped apart by a school of piranhas that emerge from the chasm.
As spring break begins, Jake Forester reunites with his old crush Kelly and meets her arrogant boyfriend, Todd Dupree. Jake meets Derrick Jones, a sleazy pornographer as well as Danni, one of his actresses. Derrick convinces Jake to show him good spots on the lake for filming a pornographic movie. Jake's mother, Sheriff Julie Forester, searches for the missing Matt Boyd with Deputy Fallon. They find his mutilated body and contemplate closing the lake. However, this decision is made difficult with thousands of partying college students on spring break, which is important for bringing revenue to the small town. The next morning, a lone cliff diver is attacked and consumed by the vicious piranhas.
Jake's siblings Zane and Laura take a canoe to go fishing on a small sandbar island and become stranded in the middle of the lake due to Zane neglecting to properly secure the canoe. Jake runs into Kelly, who accepted Derrick's invitation on board his boat, and meets Derrick's other actress Crystal and his cameraman Andrew.
Julie takes a team of seismologist divers: Novak, Sam, and Paula to the fissure. Novak speculates that the rift leads to a buried prehistoric lake. Paula and Sam scuba dive to the bottom and discover a big cavern filled with large piranha egg stocks. Both are killed by the piranhas before they can alert the others. Novak and Julie find Paula's corpse and pull it onto the boat, capturing a lone piranha, which they take to Carl Goodman, a retired marine biologist. He explains that it is a highly aggressive prehistoric species known as Pygocentrus nattereri, or the Original Piranha, long believed to have been extinct for over 2 million years and that the piranhas have survived through cannibalism. The species is able to vigorously devour its prey in seconds.
Julie, Novak, Fallon and Deputy Taylor Roberts try to evacuate the lake but their warnings are ignored until the piranhas begin to attack the tourists, turning the party into a bloodbath. Novak boards a jet-ski with a shotgun to help while the rest of the team try to save the others. Almost everyone in the lake is either wounded, dismembered, or killed by the piranhas, including Todd.
Meanwhile, Jake spots Laura and Zane on the island and forces Derrick to rescue them. Derrick crashes the boat, flooding the lower deck and causing the boat to begin sinking. Kelly is trapped in the kitchen while Derrick, Crystal and Andrew fall overboard. Andrew escapes to shore alive, Crystal is eaten, and Danni manages to get a partially-eaten Derrick back on board, where he eventually dies.
Deputy Fallon makes a last stand, taking a boat motor and using its propeller to shred many piranhas. Julie and Novak reach Jake on a speedboat and attach a rope to his boat. Julie, Danni, Laura and Zane start crossing the rope but the piranhas latch onto Danni's hair, causing her to fall and be devoured. The others make it across safely but the rope comes loose. Jake ties the line to himself and goes to save Kelly. He ties her to him and lights a flare after releasing the gas from stored propane tanks. Novak speeds the boat away just as the piranhas surround Kelly and Jake. They are dragged to safety as the propane tanks explode, killing most of the piranhas.
Mr. Goodman calls Julie, who tells him that they seem to have killed the majority of the piranhas. Goodman tells her that the reproductive glands on the piranha they obtained were not mature, which means the fish they have killed were only the babies. As Novak wonders aloud where the mature ones are, a human-sized piranha leaps out of the water and eats him.