The Reef and the 10 best shark attack movies of all time


We’re celebrating Shark Week in style here at 1428 Elm. If you’re looking for a good scare, check out one of these terrifying shark attack films.

Shark Week 2019 is circling dangerously close! The best week of the year will kick-off beginning July 28, 2019. In celebration, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most fearsome and entertaining shark attack movies of all-time.

If you want to check out the complete schedule for this year’s Shark Week, The Wrap has you covered with a listing of what you can expect for each day of the week! Be on the lookout for a Shark Week first as Discovery Channel debuts a special, original feature film called Capsized: Blood in the Water starring Josh Duhamel. The film is based on a true story from 1982.

Another fun inclusion to this year’s Shark Week is the nightly after-show called Shark After Dark, to be hosted by comedian Rob Riggle alongside other hilarious actors like Adam DeVine, Joel McHale, and Damon Wayans Jr.

More from Horror Movies

10. The Meg (2018)

Released just last year, The Meg instantly became a must-see for anyone who is a fan of gigantic sharks attacking oblivious tourists. The movie stars Jason Statham as rescue diver Jonas Taylor. It’s based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten.

He is recruited to assist in an underwater research facility called Mana One when they send a crew down to the depths of the ocean. While down there, they encounter the legendary megalodon. As all these stories go, the “meg” emerges from the watery depths and begins wreaking havoc upon the surface-dwellers.

The movie also stars Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, and Cliff Curtis.

9. Bait (2012)

A group of people becomes trapped inside of a grocery store during a monstrous tsunami. They attempt to escape but before they can do so, they realize they are being hunted by great white sharks that have come inland due to the storm.

The movie gets its name both from the obvious “people are bait for sharks” motif shark attack movies love so much, and because the survivors attempt to use bait to lure the shark away. You’ll have to watch the film to see how that works out for them. Bait was shot as a 3D film but you can only watch the 3D version now if you buy the Blu-Ray.

One interesting thing about the movie is they used animatronic sharks instead of CGI. There was initially going to be a sequel film titled Deep Water, but it was canceled due to too many similarities to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Bait stars Phoebe Tonkin, Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, and Sharni Vinson.

8. 47 Meters Down (2017)

47 Meters Down is both a shark attack movie and a survival film. It follows two sisters, played by Claire Holt and Mandy Moore, as they go cage diving while on holiday in Mexico. At one point, their cage is separated from its winch and plummets down to the ocean floor where they are encircled by great white sharks.

Trapped inside, Lisa and Kate must ration their declining oxygen and utilize their brains to the fullest capacity to figure out a way to get out of the cage alive. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the movie performed well at the box office and a sequel titled 47 Meters Down: Uncaged was released this past June.

7. Jaws 2 (1978)

Of course, it can’t live up to its predecessor, but Jaws 2 is still plenty of fun as far as shark attack films go. The story begins several years after Jaws. Amity Island is still struggling to recover from the string of shark attacks when Sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Scheider returns) finds trouble has returned to their waters.

Brody tries to warn people of potential danger to come but everyone chalks it up to his past trauma until it’s too late. Despite not living up to the quality of the original Jaws, Jaws 2 is still regarded as the best of the many Jaws sequels and rip-offs that came after.

6. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

A research expedition to salvage brain tissue from special DNA-altered sharks goes horribly awry when the sharks begin to attack. The movie follows Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) and Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson) as they try to avoid dying by shark mauling and also prevent the sharks from breaking out and escaping into the ocean.

Despite not being super well-received at the time of its release, Deep Blue Sea has gone on to create a powerful legacy with some even calling it the best shark attack film outside of Jaws.

5. Open Water (2003)

Open Water is another movie on this list that is more of a survival horror film than it is a pure shark attack movie. Supposedly, the movie is loosely based on the real story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan who fell behind during a scuba diving group trip near the Great Barrier Reef.

The film was made a shoestring budget but wound up making more than $55 million at the box office. It spawned two sequel films, Open Water 2: Adrift and Open Water 3: Cage Dive.

4. The Reef (2010)

This 2010 Australian horror film follows a group of friends who wind up lost at sea while sailing to Indonesia. Even though the group is able to make it to shore on a nearby island, it doesn’t stop them from attracting the attention of a great white shark.

One particularly interesting thing about The Reef is the filmmakers behind the movie actually used real shark footage rather than attempting to manufacture special effects. Because of this dose of realism the movie currently sits at a pretty high rating of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes.

3. The Shallows (2016)

Blake Lively proved she really can act when she essentially carried this entire movie on the merit of her performance alone. It paid off too since the movie was declared certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and garnered Lively tons of praise.

She plays the character of Nancy Adams, a medical student grieving the death of her mother. She travels to a private beach to go surfing but is subsequently attacked by a great white shark leaving her stranded on a rock hundreds of yards from the shore.

2. Sharknado (2013)

It’s pretty crazy that a movie about sharks getting swept up in tornadoes and dropped all over the Santa Monica coast could wind up being such a beloved B-movie but Sharknado is just that much fun.

Although, you could probably call it quits after the first film because the other five in this franchise (yes, there are six in total) thoroughly exhaust the concept. Still, if you just want some shameless, cheesy fun that involves ridiculous concepts then look no further than this made-for-TV Syfy film that has spawned an incredibly passionate cult following.

1. Jaws (1975)

Hailed as one of the best movies of all time and the movie that started the summer blockbuster, the top shark attack movie could be no other than Steven Spielberg’s mea culpa, the 1975 film, Jaws. Jaws started the trend of shark attack movies and also perfected it.

No other film has amassed the same amount of dread and tension you feel watching this film. Despite coming out decades ago, it still stands the test of time and if you haven’t seen it yet you should definitely get on it ASAP. It’s mandatory viewing for any cinema fan but especially for horror junkies.

dark. Next. It and the 15 greatest horror remakes of all time

Shark Week 2019 will begin airing July 28th through August 4th on the Discovery Channel.

Which of the movies on this list is your favorite? Which ones haven’t you seen that you plan on watching now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!