As Shark Week continues, here are the top 5 shark movies to binge if you loved the classic 1975 American thriller Jaws and want a new storyline with the same thrills.

Written by: Karagan Knowles – July 16th, 2021 10:07 am pst

5 Shark Films You Must Watch

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Shark movies seem to have their own ‘genre’, attracting viewers who love the thrill horror movies provide. Of course shark movies were made before Steven Spielberg’s classic film Jaws, but none that inspired the ‘creatures of the deep’ movie trend in the same way.  

As Shark Week nears its end, here are the top 5 shark movies we recommend you should watch if you’re looking for that thrill we all know and love. Each movie below brings something new to the shark genre, and takes the classic story of ‘killer sharks’ one step further.

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Let’s begin with the shark series that made a name for itself after the release of Jaws, when viewers were anxiously waiting for a movie to make themselves feel the same way. The film is about genetically modified mako sharks being held in an underwater facility. Scientists are trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and are performing tests on the sharks. As what happens in most thriller movies – something goes wrong. Now all those who were at the facility are being stalked and hunted by the mako sharks who are smarter and faster than before.

Deep Blue Sea brought something new to the shark genre by explaining why the animals were attacking humans in such a bloodthirsty way. With well-known actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Jane, and LL Cool J, who delivered great performances and left the film a memorable classic, this movie deserves its spot on the list. Plus, following in the footsteps of its shark movie predecessor, there is a second and third movie as well.

Open Water (2003)

Loosely based on a true story, this movie brings more than just the fear of sharks… but also the fear of being left behind. This movie is about a couple who go scuba diving while on vacation, but when the crew fails to take an accurate headcount, are left stranded in the water with no land in sight, no one to help, and left in shark infested waters.

This movie capitalizes on two forms of adrenaline based fear, making it a must watch. Not only are sharks a primary fear, but other forces for survival as well. This film changes the game a bit for the shark genre and brings a fresh storyline to life.

Malibu Shark Attack (2009)

This one might seem confusing on the list because it is not a popular film and most likely won’t come up in the google search “What shark movies should I watch?” Even though the film is underrated, it’s different from other movies and provides a new storyline for shark movie fanatics.

Malibu Shark Attack is about an underwater earthquake that causes a Tsunami off the coast of Malibu with little to no warning. The earthquake releases prehistoric sharks from below the ocean floor who now have free reign of the people who couldn’t make it to higher ground. The movie focuses on the teenage group of lifeguards who work at the beach now stranded in one of their towers as they try to survive and escape while being stalked by the sharks.

Even though some might call the film a bit “cheesy”, it’s a new take on a classic story. If you’re looking for a new shark movie to watch, definitely check this one out.

The Shallows (2016)

Where to begin with this one? The Shallows orchestrates strong girl power, great shark CGI, and an interesting movie in the genre where it basically involves only one character in constant battle with the shark – taking the suspense to a completely different level.

This film features actress Blake Lively who plays a surfer who decided to spend her day in a remote bay area where she finds herself the target of a shark that was protecting its food source: a whale carcass further out in the area.

If this movie had to be described in one word, the word would be INTENSE. The suspense is well done, Lively had a great performance, and even though the shark is not genetically modified or prehistoric, the concept of a great white shark protecting its food source and trying to attack anything – or anyone – that gets in their way is realistic. Overall, this movie deserves to be seen!

47 Meters Down (2017)

Similar to Open Water, this movie plays on more than just the fear of sharks. When two sisters decide to go shark watching in Mexico, they find themselves in a nightmare when the cage accidentally falls 47 meters down, trapping them inside with limited air and surrounded by the sharks they were previously watching.

The film is suspenseful to the point where it will have you on the edge of your seat. Not only are the characters trapped and trying to find a way out of their shark cage, they are immersed in basic darkness where they have no idea what lies in the ocean around them. With a surprise plot twist and plenty of adrenaline based scenes, 47 Meters Down is a must watch, and so is the sequel 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.

Of course there are more movies that could make the list and the shark genre will hopefully have some new releases coming up as well! However, if you’re looking for some original storylines that bring something new to the classic plot of Jaws, this list might just be for you.

Happy watching!

About The Author:

Karagan Knowles is a journalism major at Emerson College in Boston and an intern with Afterbuzz TV. She is pursuing a career in broadcast reporting and production.

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