Top Ten Shark Movies

In honor of The Shallows (2016), here’s ten of the best shark movies out there today.  All of them have sharks trying to eat people.  Some of them even have sharks jumping out of the water trying to get a snack.  What’s up with that?  It’s good that some of them have enough to rise above their SyFy Channel crappiness, but the top movies on this list have the tension to hold your interest.  You’re gonna need a bigger boat!!

10.  Sharktopus – This one only makes the list because it’s a Roger Corman movie.  He produced this crappy low-budget shark movie.  It’s at least entertaining if not totally laughable.  It continues a SyFy Movie trend of having stupid unrealistic sharks do stupid, unrealistic things.  The half shark – half octopus was designed to be a Navy weapon, which is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.  Of course the shark escapes and ruins the government’s plan.  Not surprising.  “No! Not like this!” one man yells.  I guess he hasn’t even watched a horror movie.

9.  Jaws 4 – The Revenge (1987) – This one sneaks in here because the Jaws franchise is better than SuperMegaSharktopus II.  Seriously.  Even this piece of crap movie is better than the latest SyFy Channel Shark movie sequel.  Still, this movie is pretty dumb.  Dumb dialogue.  Dumb writing.  And dumb characters.  It’s just not very fun, which is why it’s on late night TV or on Saturdays mornings, broadcast from somebody’s basement.   The whole setup is preposterous and would have you believe that the Shark is chasing around a family, so he can get revenge on them or something.  It doesn’t work.  Michael Caine tries to save it and he’s the only thing good about it.

shark18.  Bait 3d (2012) – This one doesn’t hold back and devours some characters in the first thirty-minutes of the movie.  It’s still plagued by “SyFy Channel Stupidity”, like jumping sharks and swallowing people whole.  It has a better story than Jaws 4, but that’s not saying much.  It has some stupid romance in the middle of a tsunami shark attack, which works to annoy me mostly.   It doesn’t have a resolution either, as the sharks are still around swallowing people, so that annoys me too.  I don’t get it, were they trying to be witty and clever with the non-ending ending?  It doesn’t work.

7.  The Reef (2010) – The Reef is a small Australian movie and it’s not bad: it just has the dumbest and most depressing ending ever.  The sharks once again win, but this time a shark leaves a woman crying hysterically.  Thanks movie, I needed to see that.  Her boyfriend proclaims his love and then gets devoured, eaten alive, taken away as the woman cries and cries, yelling for him. These writers are sadistic, I tell you.  They break up any semblance of a happy ending and I can’t ever watch this movie again because of that.  Sorry.

shark56.  The Shallows (2016) – Blake Lively does a good job in this movie, but it’s just got a boring story and too much going on.  The direction isn’t very good either.  There’s stupid slow-motion all over the place and flashbacks and dumb angles.  I don’t get it.  The score leaves something to be desired too and doesn’t suck you into an atmosphere of drama and tension right from the start, like Jaws.  The thing begins with pop tunes and stupid dance music, which doesn’t work for me.  Yes, it’s contemporary, but it’s a shark movie, not 90210.

5.  Open Water (2003) – This is a film with a good story and has some decent performances.  Kinda the opposite situation from The Shallows.  Unlike most of the movies on this list, Open Water uses real sharks, which makes for a different viewing experience.  They aren’t jumping around or popping up out of the water all the time.  Most of the sharks are used to build tension, as they stalk a man and woman couple, who get separated from their diving group.  The movie also has another depressing ending.  Just once I want to see somebody blow up a shark and do a fistpump.  That’d be great.

4.  Shark Tale (2004) – For something completely different, we have animated sharks slapping each other.  Pretty funny.  Hey, it’s for the kids.  There’s some funny characters in this one, like a vegetarian shark, which is just classic, if you ask me.  Still, it  has death and violence, so it’s not for little kids, I don’t think.  It has hitting, slapping, endless whining, and arguing.  All the things we hate about kids, so maybe they’ll  love this.  Not sure.

3.  Jaws 2 (1978) – A shark eats a helicopter in this movie, that’s how good this movie is.  Roy Scheider is back and is left to lead the movie this time, instead of being part of an ensemble cast.  I mean, there is an ensemble of younger characters, but Scheider isn’t really part of it.  Scheider argues and whines about sharks in the water, which seems more repetitive now that I view it again for the upteenth time, but it’s at least different from the original.  The teens are just throwaway characters for the most part, and I think they should have kept on Roy and his investigation, maybe with him going lone wolf with his sons or something.  In The Ring (2002) for example, we follow Naomi Watts for the entire time as she zips around investigating the video tape and there’s plenty of tension to go along.  That’s how Jaws 2 should have worked.  The teens and their stupid dialogue break the mood.  Still, it has a rousing finale.

shark32.  Deep Blue Sea (1999) – This is probably the best of the SyFy Channel wanna-be movies.  It has the best premise, that of intelligent sharks terrorizing people.  It has cliches like in Sharktopus, but done with a little better pacing and flair.  There’s plenty of character death and it becomes like a slasher movie after a while, which is sorta repetitious and dumb.  Something goes wrong and somebody dies, which happens three or four times, so that’s the formula we’re talking about here.  The characters are at least entertaining, as Samuel L. Jackson goes way over the top (again) and LL Cool J throws in some laughs. I liked both of them and their performances. The middle of the movie doesn’t sag and the pace never lets up; it actually increases with the tension.  It’s a matter of survival after a while, but that’s what all these movies are about pretty much.  At the end of the day, it’s entertaining and an above average movie.  I refuse to call a SyFy wanna-be movie good.

  1.  Jaws (1975) – Did you expect anything else at number one?  Yes, Jaws is a classic movie and should be enshrined forever as how to do tension right.  The character interactions work to give us a little break and some good dialogue, like when they’re spending the night on the both.  It just shows you how crazy Robert Shaw’s character is, so he does his best work as Quint.  Richard Dreyfuss as the intelligent guy with glasses is Quint’s perfect foil and both characters go at it for most of the movie, with each of them shouting at each other at one point.  The characters work.  The story is great, but the real treat is Spielberg’s timing, which makes us chuckle at the dialogue and spooks us with surprises.  It also recalls Moby Dick, almost literally as Quint hunts the shark as a personal vendetta and everybody else tries to reel him back in.  Jaws is a classic summer blockbuster.