Updated On: November 06, 2023 by   Nour Hany   Nour Hany  

Shark movies created an independent genre for themselves, with a huge fan base from all over the world. But how close are they to being real? Are real-life sharks as vicious and fatal as we see in these movies? Well, let us hope not!

The Shallows (2016)       

Blake Lively shines in this horror/thriller shark movie. Nancy (Blake Lively) travels to this remote beach to follow her mother’s steps and visit her favourite places. However, it gets tense when she is faced with a great white shark 200 yards from the beach. Throughout the movie, we can see Nancy’s brave attempts to beat the shark and save her life, even with her severe injuries. 

As great as it is, the behind-the-scenes facts are even greater. Lively’s co-star in the movie is a seagull called Steven Seagull (she named him herself), AKA Sully! Sully is in his twenties, and he lives in a seagull sanctuary in Australia. Another fact is that Lively’s bleeding injury at the end of the movie was real, and she almost broke her nose, but she kept going!

Moreover, the making of the shark took thousands of hours in the research process to make it as real as it could be. The whole production of the movie was a combination of huge efforts from each and everyone working on it, even the hairstylist, who got into the water tank to do Blake’s hair!

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

To find a cure for Alzheimer’s, a group of scientists make it their life’s mission to modify sharks’ brains and reach their desired results genetically. However, they become easy targets, as these genetically modified sharks outsmart them and lock them in their own isolated research facility. The movie was actually based on the childhood memories and dreams of the writer.

He saw the remains of a shark victim on the beach, and ever since he had been having dreams of being attacked by sharks that could read his thoughts and anticipate his moves. He later got the idea of sharks being genetically modified to treat Alzheimer’s, and from there, the movie was created. 

Shark Night (2011)

This 2011 shark horror stars Sara Paxton (Sara), Joel David Moore (Gordon), Dustin Milligan (Nick), Alyssa Diaz (Maya), Katharine McPhee (Beth), Chris Carmack (Dennis), and Sinqua Walls (Malik), in the roles of friends who decide to spend the weekend by the lake in a relaxing cabin. However, their dream weekend turns into their worst nightmare when they are the victims of shark attacks! 

47 Meters Down (2017)

Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are two American sisters on vacation in beautiful Mexico! Lisa is known as the cautious, uptight sister who never takes any risks or tries new adventures, and we get the idea that it is the reason her fiance left her! So, in order to change that, Kate suggests that they swim with the sharks whilst underwater in a safe cage.

Of course, Lisa refuses to go on that trip, but it is not long before Kate convinces her by telling her how her ex-fiance would feel when he sees her pictures with the sharks! When the two ladies go onto the boat, Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine) prepares an old cage for them and assures them that it is safe and that nothing could go wrong. However, a little while later, the girls find themselves 47 meters underwater, surrounded by nothing but darkness and hungry sharks. The movie is directed by Johannes Roberts and made $62.6 million at the box office.

The Reef (2010) 

A group of friends sat off to Indonesia, only to find out that they were being stalked by a shark! In hopeless attempts to reach a nearby island, we follow these friends in their survival journey. Worth mentioning that the movie is based on true events that took place in the 1980s in Australia. The movie is directed by Andrew Traucki and stars Adrienne Pickering (Suzie), Zoe Naylor (Kate), Damian Walshe-Howling (Luke), Gyton Grantley (Matt), Kieran Darcy-Smith (Warren), and Mark Simpson (Shane).

The Meg (2018)

This sci-fi/action shark movie features the prehistoric shark, The Megalodon, while attacking a group of researchers. However, it gets heated when they seek help from a rescue diver to save them, but they all end up trying to stop the beast from taking more lives. Needless to say, this is not a true story; the Meg, yes, that was once true! The megalodon was last seen alive around 2.5 million years ago and is believed to be a prehistoric creature that no longer exists. The giant creature weighed the same weight as 30 large great white sharks of our time, and we are lucky enough not to live in the same time frame as that fish! 

The movie is directed by John Turteltaub and stars Jason Statham (Jonas Taylor), Li Bingbing (Suyin), Ruby Rose (Jaxx Herd), Rainn Wilson (Jack Morris), Jessica McNamee (Lori), and Cliff Curtis (James)

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

Directed by Johannes Roberts, comes another 47 Meters down movie with a completely different story. In this new horror, four teenage girls were supposed to go on a bot trip to observe sharks with the locals; however, their plans changed, and they decided to swim alone to explore a Mayan settlement underwater. Their supposedly exciting adventure turns into their life’s worst nightmares when they are trapped surrounded by sharks that want nothing but to eat them. This one stars Brianne Tju (Alexa), Sophie Nelisse (Mia), Corinne Fox (Sasha), Sistine Stallone (Nicole), John Corbett (Grant), and Nia Long (Jennifer).

Shark Attack (1999)

Shark Attack is one of the strongest shark horrors out there! Following the murder of his friend by a shark, a marine biologist and his friend’s sister set off to search for the shark that killed him and discover other dangers along the way. The movie is directed by Bob Misiorowski and stars Casper Van Dien (Steven McKray), Jenny McShane (Corinne), Cordell McQueen (Mark Desantis), Ernie Hudson (Lawrence), Bently Mitchum (Dr. Miles Craven), and Tony Caprari (Mani).

Dark Tide (2012)

This one is a powerful thriller/adventure featuring yet another shark terror. From John Stockwell, who also directed Blue Crush (2002) and Into the Blue (2005), comes this hit movie starring Halle Perry as Kate Mathieson. Kate is a shark expert who used to spend most of her time swimming with sharks. However, it was not until her colleague got killed in a shark attack that she decided to take a very long break from the water. As her life falls apart, she is forced to accept a deal that will make her face these deadliest creatures one more time.

Malibu Shark Attack (2009)

When a tsunami hits Malibu, the water floods the beach, trapping a group of lifeguards there, surrounded by one of the most dangerous prehistoric creatures, goblin sharks! The attack was not made by one or two sharks; they were coming from everywhere, and the lifeguards almost lost all hopes of surviving this attack. The movie is directed by David Lister and stars Remi Broadway (Doug Crenshaw), Warren Christie (Chaves), Peta Wilson (Heather), Joel Amos Byrnes (Jason), Chelan Simmons (Jenny), and Mungo McKay (George).

Great White (2021)

When a group of five people go on a seaplane, they have an accident in which the seaplane sinks and they are obliged to reach the shore on a life raft. However, their adventure becomes dark when they find out that they are targets of two great white sharks, waiting for the right moment to take them down one by one. The movie stars Katrina Bowden (Kaz Fellows), Kimie Tuskakoshi (Michelle), Aaron Jakubenko (Charlie Brody), Tim Kano (Minase), and Te Kohe Tuhaka (Benny). 

Open Water (2003)

This one right here is an absolute nightmare for many, as it is fully based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan. In 1998, a tourist couple lost their lives at sea on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia when they went on a scuba diving expedition with a diving group and were left behind due to a false headcount. The water they were left in was infested by sharks, and we can only imagine the terror this American couple had to face before they left our world.

Moreover, their bodies were never found, but later, Eileen’s wet bodysuit was found with cuts on it. It is horrific what happened to these two, especially since it is believed that they stayed alive for a day after they were left behind, as a chilling message from them said: “To anyone who can help us: We have been abandoned on a gin court Reef by MV Outer Edge 25 January 98 3 pm. Please help us, come to rescue us before we die. Help!”. It is worth mentioning that what led to the search for the couple was a bag they left on the boat and was found two days after they were abandoned. 

In the movie, the couple’s names are changed to Suzan and Daniel, and played by Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis. It is directed by Chris Kentis and made $55.5 million at the box office. 

The Requin (2022)

When a married couple, Kyle and Jaelyn, decide to go on a romantic holiday to Vietnam, of course, they pick a stranded villa in the middle of the sea to stay in! However, it was not long before the fun was over, as a storm hit their villa, turning it into a wreckage and leaving the husband with a severe injury. As it was not enough what happened to the helpless couple, they soon found out that a group of sharks was surrounding them and that they had no way out. With Kyle’s injury, Jaelyn has to fight these deadly creatures all by herself. The movie stars Alicia Silverstone (Jaelyn) and James Tupper (Kyle).

Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018)

As we have seen in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, this movie is not a sequel to Deep Blue Sea (1999); this one comes with a new independent story. In this one, five genetically enhanced bull sharks are under the control of a group of conservationists and a billionaire who conducted this top-secret experiment on the sharks. However, the table is turned when the sharks are now the ones controlling their master! Starring Danielle Savre (Misty Calhoun), Darron Mayer (Craig Burns), Jeremy Boado (Daniel Kim), Kim Syster (Leslie Kim), Michael Beach (Carl Durant), Nathan Lynn (Aaron Ellroy), Rob Mayes (Trent Slater), and Marc Hyland (Ruhengeri), comes this shark horror for the director, Darin Scott. 

Deep Blue Sea 3 (2020)

Now, this is a sequel to Deep Blue Sea 2. A marine biologist studying climate change is trapped on an island when her ex-boyfriend comes along with his team as they are chasing genetically enhanced sharks. This one is directed by John Pogue and stars Tania Raymonde (Dr. Emma), Nathaniel Buzolic (Dr. Richard), Reina Aoi (Miya), Bren Foster (Lucas), Emerson Brooks (Eugene Shaw), Alexander Bhat (Spinnaker), Brashaad Mayweather (Brown), DeVille Vannik (Earls), and Siya Mayola (Bahari).

Open Water 2: Adrift

This is the second movie of the Open Water movies, and again, it comes with a completely different story. This time, instead of a couple, we have a stranded group of friends, so far away from the shore in the middle of the sea. The horrific accident happened when all of the group jumped into the water together and were not able to go back up again. The movie is directed by Hans Horn and stars Niklaus Lange (Zach), Susan May Pratt (Amy), Eric Dane (Dan), Richard Speight Jr. (James), Cameron Richardson (Michelle), Alexandra Roach (Amy), Ali Hillis (Lauren), Kelly Wagner (Erica), and Wolfgang Raach (Amy’s Father). 

Jaws (1975)

To save the best for last, we chose Jaws as our final movie for this list. When talking about this movie, we are not just talking about the plot, the amazing cast, or the successful production as a whole. We are talking about history. Jaws paved the road for other shark movies to be created and introduced a new type of terror to the whole generation back then. 

Of course, in the 1970s, CGI was not used yet, and they had to put more effort into creating scenes that convinced the audience that these were real shark attacks. To be honest, the shark used in Jaws, which was called Bruce, looks more realistic with more horror vibes than the ones we see in today’s movies. What makes this movie even more chilling is that at some point, they had to use real sharks with the help of two shark experts, Valerie and Ron Taylor, to control the situation. 

The movie was based on a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley, and Benchley spent quite some time choosing a title for his book until he came up with Jaws. The name of the movie itself is one of the main factors behind its success, as it drove an endless number of people to movie theatres to explore this new type of horror movie that kept them on the edge of their seats for weeks or even years after that. 

During the 1970s, it was hard to release a movie to the whole country at the same time and expect everyone to like it. What happened with Jaws is that it was released in 465 theatres on 20 June 1975, and the whole country was terrorised all at once. This made it an iconic and legendary creation that will stay with us for as long as we live. 

Directed by Steven Spielberg, and stars Roy Scheider (Martin Brody), Richard Dreyfuss (Matt Hooper), Robert Shaw (Quint), Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody), Jay Mello (Sean Brody), and Chris Rebello (Michael Brody), comes this thriller/adventure shark movie. The plot follows a police chief who desperately tries to convince the authorities to close the beach after a horrific shark attack. He takes it on his shoulders to track the shark along with a marine scientist and a fisherman and puts him down. 

That was the end of our list, but we do not think it is the end of all shark movies! We still have plenty of them out there and more in the sea! 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *