Everyone loves a good shark movie, the thrill of what’s going to happen and the sheer terror of knowing that the unwitting victims are out of their element is a sure draw for any horror movie fan. While there are some realists out there that cry foul when sharks become demonized in such a way, the average movie fan will still find it necessary to enjoy a good blood and guts shark movie that, if possible, can deliver an entertaining and semi-believable story line.
Here are our picks for the best shark movies of all-time
Like it or not Sharknado, the original at least, has become something of a phenomenon among shark movies, and has continued to garner support as it is now in its fifth film of the series. Working around the premise that a freak typhoon has managed to pluck up several great white sharks, flood the nearby town, and thereby allow said sharks to terrorize the town, Sharknado seems primed to offer little more than hilarity coupled with over the top gore for little more than the amusement of the fans.
4. Open Water
Open Water is a story about two divers that inadvertently get separated from their diving group and come to realize that they are now in shark-populated waters. As the sharks begin to close in they continually nip at the couple, as though curious, until eventually one of them is killed in the night. The survivor decides to drown before being eaten alive, diving into the depths to end her own life. Eventually their belongings are found in the stomach of a netted shark, adding a sad testament to their passing. As shark movies go there was a great deal more realism and less pandering to the viewers, which was what made this movie so chilling, but woefully underrated.
3. The Shallows
A more recent film, The Shallows is about a young woman that goes out surfing on a fairly unknown strip of beach. After suffering a shark attack from a great white that is believed to be defending its feeding grounds she must fight to survive in this action thriller that pits human against shark in an epic duel to the finish. Eventually and against all odds she manages to disconnect the chain connecting a nearby buoy to its anchor on the ocean floor, holding tight as the shark decides to follow her down, jaws agape as it closes in for the kill. The ending is quite inspirational, no matter how unlikely.
2. Deep Blue Sea
So take Jaws and give it a brain equivalent to a human’s. One could argue that sharks are already intelligent enough to survive and reason when they need to. But when you give a shark the capability for abstract thought and the ability to problem-solve, it’s safe to assume that you’ve got more trouble than you can deal with. As the small group of scientists, with one deep sea diver, a civilian, and an onsite chef, attempt to make their way to the surface of an underwater habitat, the three sharks chasing them continually hound their every step, making it increasingly difficult to know just when or where they will appear. Though it’s not the smartest of the shark films, it definitely makes the list for one of the most innovative.
1. Jaws and Jaws II
If you were expecting a different number one then you’re reading the wrong list. Jaws is the epitome of shark movies and likely always will be, as it brought the idea of killer sharks front and center in cinema. Despite the negative effects, namely people’s irrational fear of sharks, this movie has become a timeless classic that all other shark movies are pitted against. While some close, many fall far short of the mark that Jaws made in its initial run.
Shark movies are popular largely because they are scary, deal with the unknown, and offer a thrill that never seems to get old. Anytime a film shows mankind out of their element and forced to survive, it can be assumed it will garner an audience.