Jaws (1975) was the first shark movie that kept people out of the water. When I was a child I saw Jaws 3D in the theatre. It gave me a life long fascination with the “lost in the ocean” genre. Here are 5 more newer movies that will keep you on the safe sand of the beach.
Open Water (2003)
Open Water was the first, and perhaps one of the most terrifying movies involving the ocean. This could be because it was not only based on a true story, but also was an accident that could have happened to any adventure traveller. A couple on vacation go for what should be an ordinary scuba dive along a reef. They are accidentally left behind by the boat, and the terror begins.
Open Water spawned two sequels Open Water 2: Adrift (2006) and Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017). Adrift is literally a shot by shot copy of a Spanish movie that was given the name Open Water 2 simply to capitalize on the success of the first movie. Cage Dive is more in the same vein of the original film and does more justice to the franchise.
The Reef (2010)
The Reef takes us off the coast of Australia where the waters are known for sharks, and is also based on true events. When five friends take a trip out from into the open ocean, their boat capsizes. They are faced with the choice of staying on the boat that is being pulled by currents farther into the abyss, or to swim for it.
Another Australian movie, Bait, takes a different tack at the shark genre. A freak tsunami hits the Australian coast and traps people in a grocery store. The tsunami did not only bring water into the grocery store. Sharks now stalk the aisles and wait for the trapped survivors to become their next meal. Bait is CLEARLY not based on true events; however, is a fun take on the shark genre.
The Shallows (2016)
The Shallows is one of the more terrifying movies as the protagonist is alone for the duration of the film. The main character of the film visits Mexico to surf a special beach that her mother used to speak of before she passed away. The daughter visits the beach to surf, and is stranded on a rock just off of the coast. Unlike many other films where the main characters are “lost at sea”, in this movie we are so close to the shore you can almost touch it!
47 Metres Down (2017)
47 Metres Down stars Mandy Moore in a film about two women who go on a cage dive to see sharks. Needless to say, things do not go as planned and the cage ends up on the bottom of the ocean. Mandy Moore predictably plays a bit of an idiot that is talked into situations that she can not navigate herself. Perhaps the saddest part of this movie is that it was outshined by its 2019 sequel 47 Metres Down: Uncaged.
If you are a shark horror fan like myself check out these five films (and perhaps their sequels) to get you ready for beach season. I would recommend staying in fresh water; however, that is not always something that will save you!