Since Jaws hit the big screen, we've all been afraid to go back in the water. She may only be a fish, but this many-toothed piscine beast has been terrifying us since 1975. Over 40 years later, the shark holds a special place in the hearts of horror enthusiasts, and the shark movie is still going strong. This one's for all you fans of epic shark kills out there.
1. Deep Blue Sea
Type of Shark: GM mako sharks
When will horror movie characters learn that meddling with genetic modification never ends well? Hopefully never, for DNA-splicing movies are always great fun, and this joy reaches its campy zenith with Deep Blue Sea. Included: One of the most marvelously unexpected deaths in cinema.
2. Open Water
Type of Shark: Caribbean reef shark
After a perfunctory head count of those on board, the crew of a diving vessel accidentally leaves Susan and her boyfriend Daniel adrift in the warm yet shark-infested waters of the Caribbean. Open Water manages to keep the action pacy, despite a very simple storyline and only two characters — well, three, if you count the shark — producing an admirable survival horror in the style of Backcountry, 247°F or Frozen.
Type of Shark: Tornadoes full of sharks
It's not big and it's not clever, but Syfy's straight-to-TV blend of killer sharks and extreme weather pulled in as many laughs as it did memorable action scenes. Sharknado 2: The Second One, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! and the coming Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens await for those charmed by this amusingly deranged franchise.
4. Shark Night 3D
Type of Shark: cookiecutter, hammerhead, great white, sand tiger and bull sharks
OK, so the horror here is tempered with comedy, but Shark Night pulls off the same excessively gory laughs as Piranha 3D, and with the producers of Hostel and the director of Final Destination behind it, Shark Night was always going to be on the right side of non-serious thrills. A cornucopia of shark species gleefully drag a bunch of hapless hotties to their watery graves in this thoroughly enjoyable romp.
5. The Shallows
Type of Shark: great white shark
Gossip Girl's Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) is all grown up, now a tough pro-surfer forced to take on a hella big great white shark in a holiday from hell. Maybe the hungry predator is some relation to Jaws herself? Devoid of enormous teeth of her own, our heroine's quick thinking and smart tactics are her only weapons in this slick, tense thriller.
Projected release: March 2, 2018
Type of Shark: megalodon
This is no ordinary shark. The megalodon is an ancient predecessor to the great white and is thought to have grown to around 60 feet long. Despite watching safe in the knowledge that this toothy beast lived more than 20 million years ago, the modern audience will still be scared by the big fish — if it's done right. Fans were disappointed when gorenographer Eli Roth pulled out of the project, but action movie stud Jason Statham should give the Cenozoic creature a swim for its money.
What's your favorite shark movie of the last 20 years?