Top 10 favorites: End your summer right with these shark attack movies
We blinked in March and now it’s August! And what better way to close out this summer of fear than by watching a few of summer’s biggest villains on screen. And no, we’re not talking about corona—we’re talking about sharks!
Even though all of these movies are essentially character assassinations of these magnificent beasts, they still make for excellent, low-stakes viewing if your brain is still fried from quarantine. Check out some of the best water-logged thrill fests in our ranking below.
10. Sharknado (2013)
Start your trip to the beach with something light. We recommend testing the waters with a silly shark fest starring camp queen, Tara Reid. This way, the bar will be so low for the CGI sharks that all other attempts will marvel in comparison.
9. Shark Night 3D (2011)
Shark Night 3D features Aquamarine star Sarah Paxton returning to the water, but this time in the form of a spring-breaker whose trip is ruined by some lake sharks. Yes, you heard that right: lake sharks. We won’t tell you why, but we will tell you that post-SMASH Katharine McPhee suffers a horrific death scene where she literally becomes fish food in the worst way possible.
8. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
In this sequel to the 2017 girl power thriller, we’re met with a new cast of characters who go scuba diving in a newly discovered underground cavern–which, why would you ever? They end up awakening a prehistoric blind shark and madness ensues as they try to escape the vast subterranean chamber. John Corbett plays a hot, capable dad just trying to make his daughter happy. What’s not to love in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged?
7. Jaws 3-D
Some of you are about to be real mad at us, but as far as sequels to the iconic 1975 film go, Jaws 3-D is the best. Featuring the always handsome Dennis Quaid and a very interesting — although all-around poorly executed — plot that concerns a shark sneaking into a Sea World-type water park, this one is definitely mild fun. That’s all we’ll say on the matter, but it’s impossible not to love the dramatic water skiing group attack!
- The Reef (2010)
This movie features a cast of regular-looking people for once, which is a refreshing break from the slew of supple movie stars in bathing suits from the other films. An absolutely nightmare situation causes the group of divers to swim for it. You can probably guess what happens next.
The Reef is one of the only films on our list to use real footage of sharks for most of its scares–impressive!
5. The Shallows (2016)
Blake Lively comes out for this survival tale of an injured surfer being stalked by a great white. While The Shallows is a little predictable, her seagull friendship and the mechanics of the shark are top-notch additions to this story of human triumph. Also we’ll say it: Miss Lively is the action star we all deserve.
4. Open Water (2003)
This movie goes for a hauntingly realistic approach in telling its story by borrowing from the real-life events of Tom & Eileen Lonergan, abandoned by their scuba group on their honeymoon where they met a tragic end with a pack of tiger sharks.
Half Blair Witch half Jaws, found-footage story, Open Water, may be the one that stays under your skin for the longest–if you can make it to the lightning-fueled final moments, join our online group therapy session.
3. 47 Meters Down (2017)
Mandy Moore stars in this effective tale of two deep-sea divers whose cage plummets them to the bottom of the shark infested ocean–and it is absolutely horrifying. Complete with tension-soaked scenes of scuba realness, and Moore’s voice that is almost too reminiscent of her days in Tangled, 47 Meters Down is a must-see for any shark lover because we’re finally on their turf–and lord is it terrifying.
2. Deep Blue Sea (1999)
They just absolutely do not make movies like Deep Blue Sea anymore. For a tone-bending science fiction horror movie about genetically enhanced sharks, this is one stellar film. If Samuel L. Jackson’s surprising mid-speech death isn’t enough of a draw for you, then what if we told you that L.L. Cool J not only survives this film, but also has a talking parrot friend?
Deep Blue Sea is unparalleled in its success and is complete with some of the most original and unique death scenes on this list.
1. Jaws (1975)
Surprised we ranked this one first?
We probably don’t have to tell you why this movie is so amazing, but down to the aesthetic look and feel of the camera work, Jaws is perfect. And when you think about all Spielberg went through to make this movie, it’s hard not to be absolutely obsessed with the “top shark” in the genre.
From Spielberg’s implementation of the Hitchcock method of fearing the unseen, to the mechanical shark puppet we’ve all come to know and love, Jaws is the penultimate summer movie and it will never be topped.
Also if you’re really interested in this one, take a look at the unsolved murder of the Lady of the Dunes––maybe she had something to do with the film.
Do you agree with our ranking? Let us know in the comments.