Written by Shannon McGrew
To some, sharks are majestic creatures which are misunderstood, while to other, including myself, they are ferocious creatures of the sea. When your job is to write about horror, you start to become de-sensitized to ghosts and demons and other supernatural entities and to start to focus on real-life horrors. For me, the ocean, as beautiful as it can be, holds many dark secrets and is quite a terrifying place if you consider the majority of it has been unseen and undocumented.
With the news that Steve Alten’s novel ‘Meg’, a fictional story based around a factual prehistoric shark called the Megalodon, will be coming to the big screen in 2018, I thought I would list some of my favorite shark-based films.
We are all familiar with “Jaws” and I think it’s pretty unanimous that it’s the best shark movie out there, so for the sake of this article, I’m going to refrain from using that film in my list. Also, I have heard a lot of people mention how great “The Reef” is, unfortunately I have yet to see that but it’s on my list! So without further ado, let’s get into my top 5 shark-based horror films!
#5 Sharknado (2013)
I’m going to be upfront and let you all know that there are 2 films from SyFy on this list and I’m not going to apologize for that! When “Sharknado” graced our television screens in 2013 I don’t think SyFy realized how much of a hit it was going to be. How can you say no to sharks and tornado’s combining into a powerhouse killing machine?! You can’t! Though I wasn’t as big of a fan of the inevitable sequels, I still have a soft spot for the original “Sharknado” and I’ve enjoyed watching it every time I have seen it. Also, Ian Ziering and Tara Reid fighting tornado sharks. Enough said.
#4 Finding Nemo (2003)
Yes, I’m adding in a Disney/Pixar film and you can’t stop me! Listen, Bruce the Shark, was pretty unnerving in this film. I’m not saying I was scared or anything, but for a predominantly kid friendly movie, Bruce and his buddies had some insidious plans in mind. I mean come on, they were trying to convince Marlin and Dory that they were vegetarians! Sharks are not vegetarians. I’m not saying that sharks are evil, but if there is anything I learned from “Finding Nemo,” it’s that sharks should never be trusted.
#3 Sharktopus (2010)
Here we are again with another SyFy film! I absolutely LOVE “Sharktopus” and I’m not ashamed to admit that. Unlike “Sharknado,” this time around we get to see a shark and an octopus combined due to a military experiment. Want to know why this is so great? It’s great because it allows this hybrid creature to walk on land! Imagine that!! A shark walking on land! If I ever saw that, I would say my prayers and await the impending apocalypse that would soon come. In all seriousness, I really do love this film and it’s always a nice surprise when actor Eric Roberts shows up to kick some ass and take some names.
#2 The Shallows (2016)
Okay, now that I’ve have gotten all those other films out of my system, it’s time to pick a more serious one. “The Shallows,” which was released this past year, was a hell of thriller that had some incredibly tense moments along with some beautiful and eye-catching special effects. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this film when I first heard about it, and I hate to say that I didn’t think Blake Lively could pull this film off, but I’m happy to report that I was proven wrong. Through the whole movie, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting the terror approaching from below. The CGI used for the shark was incredible which resulted in the creature being that much more petrifying when it revealed itself in all its glory. Though I won’t go as far as to say it’s the best shark movie since “Jaws”, it still remains one of the better shark-based horror films to have come out in recent years.
#1 Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Yes, this is my number one choice and I couldn’t be more proud of it! I remember the first time I saw “Deep Blue Sea” and being absolutely terrified when Samuel L. Jackson’s character got eaten. That scene, and everything leading up to it, was one of the first times I was ever truly scared while watching a movie in the theaters. Sure, it doesn’t necessarily hold up to the test of time, but it’s still an enjoyable watch. Also, the scientists studying this shark for Alzheimer’s research, are living in an isolated research facility under the water. For some, the isolation, the fear of drowning, and the claustrophobia, is more frightening than the killer sharks themselves. Plus, this film has LL Cool J and you really can’t go wrong with that.