This is the hardest Top 13 list I’ve ever had to compile. For starters, there’s just not that many great shark films around. But I did it. Rhiannon Irons, a.k.a Ahlephia, here with what I hope is a list that will keep you out of the water for a long time.
Another Top 13 list. No, it cannot be!
This time I take on a fear that strikes the heart of all beach goers at some point in time. For what is lurking beneath the waves is another world… and it has razor sharp teeth.
A shark in a swamp? Yeah right. In this creepy, weird, unbelievable tale it’s true. When an animal smuggling operation goes wrong a large sea ‘creature’ is dumped into a swamp. All havoc breaks loose as people start getting mangled. Naturally, gators are blamed but it’s up to one family to prove it was a swamp shark.
The creepiest thing about this film is watching the original Buffy (Kristy Swanson) tote a gun and take on something with a bigger set of fangs than a vampire.
12: Shark Night 3D (2011)
A bunch of kids, trapped on an island while the lakes around them are filled with not one, but fifteen species of sharks. That’s a vacation that you’ll never forget.
Over all this film is forgettable. Wooden acting, terrible dialogue and some of the worse CGI sharks I’ve ever seen. So why is it on this list? For a PG 13 movie, it has some of the goriest kills I’ve ever seen. The most chilling one, watching the brave Blake grab a hold of his friend Malik on the back of jetski in order to get some help as Malik’s been wounded and is missing his arm. Malik sees a dorsal fin behind the jet ski and sacrifices himself to the shark. What I didn’t expect was to see a shark leap out of the water and take Blake right off the jet ski. Creepy.
11: Bait 3D (2012)
When a tsunami hits the Gold Coast of Australia, a group of unlucky individuals find themselves trapped in a flooded supermarket and underground car park with not one, but two Great White sharks stalking them.
Comprised of Australian actors (some using very terrible and painful to watch American accents) this film has it’s ups and downs. The most chilling part for me is watching the demise of Lincoln Lewis’ character Kyle. The damn shark should have taken the dog……or the blonde Paris Hilton wannabe.
A deep-sea drilling operation goes horribly wrong, releasing the deadliest ocean predator that has ever roamed the seas since prehistoric times-Carcharodon Megalodon…sixty feet of prehistoric terror.
There’s something very fascinating about the Megalodon and while this film tries so hard to bring it into the minds of people everywhere, it’s just not that scary. So why is it on this list? Because there’s something very scary about a sixty foot shark. The creepiest part of this film was watching Ross realize that in order to save those left he would have to kill himself and take the monster shark with him.
9: Shark Swarm (2008)
A fisherman and his family fight to take down a greedy real estate developer who has released toxins into the ocean, turning the area’s sharks into bloodthirsty hunters.
What chilled me the most about this made for TV movie was the impressive body count.
8: Deep Blue Sea (1999)
What’s scarier than a Mako? How about three Makos? Still not scary enough…. OK, how about 3 genetically engineered Makos that actually manage to kill Samual L. Jackson? Now I have your attention.
Not that creative or original, Deep Blue Sea did provide some thrills. The most chilling moment for me was seeing Dr. Jim Whitlock being rammed against the underwater laboratory window after having his arm taken by one of the sharks.
7: 12 Days Of Terror (2005)
Based on true events that took place from 1 – 12 July 1916 in New Jersey, this television movie was based on a book of the same name by Richard Fernicola. While the film states it’s a Great White Shark behind the slaughter during these 12 days, shark experts believe it was actually a bull shark because the animal was seen swimming into a freshwater channel on the 12th day.
The most chilling fact about this movie for me is this is one of the books that inspired Peter Benchley’s Jaws.
6: Sharknado (2013)
It’s terrible. It’s bad. It’s so bloody bad that it’s good. Sharknado has become one of the most talked about shark movies in the last decade. A freak hurricane hits Los Angeles, causing man-eating sharks to be scooped up in water spouts and flooding the city with shark-infested seawater. Told you it was bad.
The most chilling moment for me was watching Nova preparing to throw one of the bombs and ends up falling out of the helicopter and into the waiting jaws of a shark. (Don’t worry, she’s unharmed – did I mention this is so bad that it’s good!?)
5: Jaws 2 (1978)
I know what you’re thinking; how the hell did a sequel make this list, but here me out. A group of teens stranded on wreaked sailing ships as they’re being stalked by a monstrous Great White is the main premise for the film, but seeing Roy Scheider return as Martin Brody was one of the reasons this sequel was one of the highest grossing sequels.
My most chilling moment from Jaws 2 was watching Eddie hang onto the boat for dear life as the shark devoured him. The boat snaps under the sheer strength of his grip on it and the shark’s grip on him.
4: Dark Tide (2012)
Halle Berry survives a near fatal shark attack and is terrified to get back into the water again. Low and behold she has to when a thrill-seeking multimillionaire presents her with an offer she can refuse; take him for a dive outside the cage.
The most chilling aspect about this film is how real the tension is. This is one shark chasing thriller that is sure to delight.
3: Open Water (2003)
This film is inspired by a true story about an American couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who in 1998 went with a scuba group to an area off the coast of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. They were accidentally left behind due to a faulty head count taken by the dive boat crew. There were 26 other divers and 5 crew members who failed to notice that the couple were not on the boat. It was not until two days later on January 27, 1998, that the pair were reported missing after a bag containing their passports and belongings was found in the dive boat. A massive air and sea search took place over the following three days but failed to find them. The couple were never found again, though there is plenty of speculation that they faked their own deaths as their tanks, camera and wetsuits washed ashore in the following weeks without a single bite mark appearing on them.
What makes this film chilling is simply how real it is. Being Australian, I know the story of the Lonergan’s well and being stranded in the ocean with our deadly predators circling certainly makes for a chilling vacation.
2: The Reef (2010)
I’ve often spoken about The Reef as being the greatest shark film for my generation. I stand by that statement. Real shark footage integrated with the actors makes this film an outstanding piece of work. A great white shark hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef.
What makes this film so terrifying is that once again it’s based on a true story and the feeling of helplessness and isolation is overwhelming.
1: Jaws (1975)
Is it really a surprise that this is number one? 38 years has passed and this film is still the reason why some people don’t step foot in the water. When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.
The most chilling part of this film is hard to say as there are too many choices. But watching the opening sequence is a powerful reminder never to go swimming when it’s dark.
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