JAWS didn't just spark an explosion in shark interest but it also created it's very own legacy genre... the shark movie! Here we put together our "Top 10 Shark Movies... That Aren't Jaws!" Have we nailed the list or have we overlooked some absolute classics?? Tell us in the comment below.
1. Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Few shark films are as fun as this one, and Deep Blue Sea manages to perfectly strike the balance between the ridiculous and the terrifying. Applying the shark movie concept to an action-packed, tongue in cheek, and endlessly entertaining film is undoubtedly the perfect combination. This film has everything; explosions, over the top death scenes, unnecessarily scantily clad ladies, and Samuel L. Jackson - what more could you want?
2. The Shallows (2016)
Proving there is life in the shark movie genre beyond the straight-to-SyFy low budget offerings, this big screen blockbuster proved to be surprisingly effective. Starring Blake Lively as an intrepid surfer, the singular location of this thriller really helps to ramp up the tension as the heroine is locked into a battle of survival against a perpetually peckish Great White. The Shallows is short, tightly wound, funny and features the best non-speaking island companion since Wilson, in the form of Steven Seagull!
3. Open Water (2003)
Think Blair Witch Project but in the water, this film focuses on two divers left behind by their tour boat, who are now pitched against all the terrifying things the ocean has to throw at them, including some sharks. This low-budget movie is one of the few shark movies that doesn’t play its concept for laughs, and the result is a genuinely tense and nerve-shredding movie. The fact it is based on a true story makes it even more harrowing
4. Blue Water, White Death (1971)
Offering a slightly different take, this fascinating documentary is an absolute must-watch for fans. For those who consider themselves to be fans of these incredible creatures, as well as enjoying the portrayal of them in horror movies, Blue Water, White Death offers some of the most amazing real-life footage of sharks ever seen on film. In a time when the “unknown” quality of these animals was what led them to be so feared, a daring crew of divers set out to attain the closest footage of sharks in the wild. In fact, it was this documentary that inspired Peter Benchley to pen our beloved Jaws, so we owe a lot to this film!
5. The Reef (2010)
Whilst not dissimilar to 2003’s Open Water, there is still merit in this 2010 offering, mostly for the fact it is legitimately quite terrifying. The “stranded people being tormented by shark” might feel like it has been done to its death, but The Reef is certainly one of the better options. With plenty of genuinely jumpy and nerve-shredding moments, this is perhaps one not to watch alone...and certainly not before you go on a diving holiday to Australia at least!
6. Sharknado (2013)
We’re now just a few weeks away from the 5th installment in the Sharknado franchise, but it is the original which finds its way onto our list! As you’ll probably be aware, it is best not to go into the Sharknado films expecting great acting, flawless effects, a story that makes sense, or even a good movie, but they are films to go into with a large group of mates, a lot of beer and a big sense of humour and you’re sure to have a great time. Unashamedly fun and trashy, Sharknado takes “so-bad-they’re-good” shark movies to new heights - or depths depending on which way you look at it!
7. Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (2009)
What’s more entertaining than a shark movie? Well, a shark movie that pits a monstrously big shark against an equally gigantic octopus of course! Forget Civil War and the battle between Captain America and Iron Man, this is the real clash of the titans! The acting is atrocious, the effects are laughable, but boy is this film entertaining. Worth a watch for the shark vs aeroplane scene alone...you’ll know the one as soon as you see it!
8. Shark Night (2011)
Inexplicably good-looking college students on a summer vacation, what could go wrong? Well a lot of things actually! This is a common formula in the shark movie genre, but Shark Night is one of the more entertaining ones. With some of the most spectacular, gory and wonderfully over-the-top deaths, this film ticks a lot of the boxes but doesn’t scrimp on the scares either. Think Final Destination but with more sharks and you’ve got Shark Night!
9. Sand Sharks (2012)
One of the most hilariously implausible shark movies out there, the clue is somewhat in the name for this wonderfully ridiculous movie which turns the once-safe sandy shores into the setting for a shark massacre. Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water, or on the beach, or in fact anywhere near the ocean, this movie says otherwise! Go in with an open mind, this movie is as dumb as you would expect but it is entertaining popcorn trash for when your brain cells need to take the day off.
10. Sharktopus (2010)
A scientific experiment to fuse a shark with an octopus goes disastrously wrong (of course!), when the mutant creature turns on his captors and wreaks all kinds of havoc. This is trashy, B-movie, shark spectacle at its funniest and most outrageous, with “eight times” the amount of entertainment. Spawning two sequels that pit the sharktopus amongst similarly ridiculous mutant monster mash-ups, they might not get as much attention as the Sharknado movies, but there’s still a lot of silly fun to be had in this franchise.