Shark films, as a sub-genre, had its ups and downs in popularity. It has also undergone a few mutations, finding ways to produce truly compelling and thrilling spins on the form. This list follows some genuinely scary confrontations with the perfect eating machines. Just to clarify, these film shad to have a theatrical release to qualify on this list. Hopefully, you’re not reading this on your phone at the beach.
Top 5 Shark Movies That Makes Us Fear The Ocean
# 1 JAWS
Steven Spielberg directed this 1975 classic based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name. It revolves around a great white man-eating shark attacking beachgoers at a summer resort town. This prompted police chief Martin, marine biologist Matt, and professional shark hunter Quint.
This was the movie that started it all. Inspiring imitators, it invented the onslaught of man-versus-killer-animal like Tentacles, Piranha, Grizzly, Alligator, and Orca after its release in 1975. The movie just doesn’t show a good premise but an extremely well-executed film. It definitely build the suspense and scared the viewers.
# 2 THE SHALLOWS
Jaume Collet-Serra directed this 2016 survival film. Revolving around a med student, Nancy makes the critical mistake of running into conflict with a great white shark. It left her wounded and stranded on a rock only a few feet from the shore. However, the shark has decided to stick around, making those few feet from dry land as dangerous as a minefield.
Probably the best shark-related movie since Jaws, this movie shows how humans can outwit the deadly sharks. It focused tightly on the human’s psyche, and her selection to get creative just to survive. The movie didn’t shy away from embracing the physical nature of the scenario, giving the viewers a very interesting and gruesome setup.
# 3 47 METERS DOWN
Johannes Roberts directed this 2017 survival horror. Revolving around two sisters, Lisa and Kate decided to spice up their vacation with a little scuba diving. Unfortunately, the dive includes being submerged in a cage as a sketchy tour guide chum the waters to attract sharks. Their safety level goes down as their diving cage breaks, sending them 47 meters down to the bottom of the ocean.
Definitely not for claustrophobes, this movie confronts any Thalassophobics’ worst nightmares. Even without the sharks circling their cages, the characters have to compete against their diminishing oxygen supply, a cage that has become their trap, and decompression sickness. Although the sharks seem to be accessories, the predators add an unpredictable threat to their survival attempts.
# 4 DEEP BLUE SEA
Renny Harlin directed this 1999 science fiction horror. Revolving around a motley crew stranded in a marine-biology lab, they are forced to match wits with genetically engineered shark. Smarter than the average man-eater, they go on a rampage and flood the whole facility. Every moment in a scene works so well and gave the movie a high reaching point that only a few movies do.
This movie detracted away from the usual “sharks are all teeth and muscle.” The movie added intellect in their finned opponents, making it even more exciting. It doesn’t linger on special effects but it knows how to use timing, suspense, quick movement, and surprise. In a genre where a lot of movies retreads of the predictable, this movie shall keep you guessing.
# 5 THE MEG
Jon Turteltaub directed this 2018 science fiction action. This movie didn’t feature any kind of giant shark but it pits a group of people against a reawakened megalodon, a prehistoric monster believed to be extinct. However, it has carried on existing in the deepest regions of the ocean, staying away from the surface and humanity. Everything changes when a group of scientists have probed too far, sending the giant shark to the surface as it searches for fresh prey.
This may be the best example of a movie carefully engineered to play for a global audience. With an international cast and a giant shark, it already translates easily into any language. This emphasizes on goofy action thrills and gut-crunching scares. It also deployed a certain amount of wit and style using the audience’s presumptions to make for some real surprises. It proved to be more clever and amusing than one might expect.
Have we triggered the Thalassophobia in you? Let us know in the comments section below.
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.