Review: Eli Roth’s Documentary ‘Fin’ Is More Horrifying Than Any Horror Film

July 13, 2021

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]

Shark Week kicks off on Discovery+ on July 11th. Among the shark-themed shows and specials is a documentary titled Fin, from filmmaker Eli Roth who is a leading name in the horror genre, delivering films such Cabin Fever, Hostel, and The Green Inferno.
Here’s the thing, Fin is filled with more gore and stomach-churning horrors than a movie could ever capture. In the doc, Roth delves into the horrific and heartbreaking fin trade. What is the fin trade? Let me fill you in. Fishermen catch sharks, often hacking off their fins and throw them back into the sea to die a painful death, often drowning. Buyers purchase the fins and use them to make shark fin soup, an expensive meal considered a status symbol.
Roth takes us behind the scenes of the fin trade revealing the massive amount of sharks slaughtered each year. Upwards of 17, 000 tons of fins are brought into China alone every year. An average of 4,250 tons of fins of endangered sharks arrives in Hong Kong alone. That’s an insane fact that I did not know until I watched Fin. Over 100 million of these amazing creatures are murdered every year. Many sharks have up to a three-year gestation which means that the birth rate can not keep up with finning, which spells disaster for the species. Roth not only explored those who are at the heart of the horrific trade, but also shows that there are people fighting to stop it, like those aboard the ship Bob Barker. But it’s simply not enough.

Shark fins dry in the sun covering the roof of a factory building in Hong Kong.

I was left in tears (I’m a huge shark lover) as the documentary showed these majestic creatures being hacked to pieces. I can handle pretty much any horror movie you throw at me, but witnessing living creatures being sliced up and killed for a fucking bowl of soup is just too much. I will admit I struggled hard, forcing myself to finish the documentary while choking back nausea and tears. I must warn you that if you are an animal lover, you need to brace yourself because Fin is absolutely brutal. But it is something everyone needs to see.
Did Fin go too far? Maybe, but unless people are forced to witness the horrors of the fin trade I fear it will never stop. Fin was both eye-opening and heartbreaking and makes it clear that we must do something. I think everyone needs to see Fin and everyone needs to get involved so an end can be put to the fin trade before it’s too late.
Fin premieres of Discovery+ on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

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