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10 Most Entertaining Killer Shark Movies That Aren’t ‘Jaws’

You go in the cage, cage goes in the listicle, you go in the listicle. Shark’s in the listicle, our shark.
Jaws Like Movies
By  · Published on October 6th, 2019

5. Aatank (1996)


Look, I’m as surprised as anyone to see this Indian experience make the cut when something like the solidly respectable Jaws 2 (1978) didn’t, but that’s both the beauty and curse of democracies I guess. That said, I love this bonkers adventure that blends romance, low-level gangsters, and a giant shark into such a uniquely entertaining watch. Knowing that production began in the 70s as a response to Jaws, was continued in the 80s when more money came available, and then finished in the 90s after some of its lead actors had passed away — before finally releasing in 1996, makes it even more special. The shark screams, leaps from the water to land on and crush sailboats, and generally causes all kinds of glorious mayhem for the seaside villagers. It’s ridiculous fun aided by the miniature work used to bring this big beast to life, and I am an eternal fan. Still surprised it landed at #5 here though… (Rob Hunter)

4. Bait (2012)

This second Australian feature on the list makes for a good second half of a double feature with The Reef above as it has far more fun with the shark attack premise. Several people still die, but it’s set in a shopping mall that’s been flooded by a tsunami! Crazy. The Loved Ones‘ (2009) star Xavier Samuel takes the lead for this high energy action/horror/survival hybrid, and the film delivers engaging thrills and fun set-pieces. You won’t grow attached to anyone here, but you’ll enjoy seeing their struggle to survive. What that says about you I don’t know, but it is what it is. (Rob Hunter)

3. 47 Meters Down (2017)

As fate would have it, volunteering to journey below the ocean’s surface with nothing but a few bars of steel separating you from a legion of Great Whites can backfire! Who knew? In Johannes Roberts’ 47 Meters Down, sisters Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) get more than they bargained for when they do a cage dive off the coast of Mexico. The wire tethering them to the boat snaps, leaving them stranded —- you guessed it -— 47 meters down. In this take on the survival thriller, the sisters are battling what can only be described as a fuck-ton of sharks as time runs out and takes their dwindling oxygen supply with it. The film has a healthy dose of cliches and poor character decisions, but it also has some nail-bitingly tense sequences, a charming embrace of schlock, and stellar performances from Moore and Holt. I would like to say that for a fun take on the shark film you don’t have to look far, but 47 meters below the ocean’s surface is a far distance. Good thing it’s worth it. (Anna Swanson)

2. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Deep Blue Sea is a stupid movie, but it’s the kind of stupid movie that takes its inherently silly premise seriously enough to save it from drowning in squalor. In other words, Deep Blue Sea is glorious. The film follows a team of scientists who genetically engineer sharks to use a lab rats, and while nothing good could ever arise from that situation, it leads to an entertaining fight for survival in an underwater facility. Renny Harlin‘s film doesn’t try to be anything more than a dumb popcorn action/horror hybrid, but it retains enough bite to be genuinely thrilling at times. (Kieran Fisher)

1. The Shallows (2016)

I write to you from Nova Scotia, a maritime province that has seen a recent spike in surfers and great white shark populations. While the increase in shark activity probably has more to do with climate change than the newfangled abundance of tasty surfers, Jaume Collet-Serra’s lean, mean survival flick immediately springs to mind. The Shallows finds a protagonist in Nancy, a thrill-seeking surfer who is enjoying the riches of a hidden beach only to find herself stranded a scant 200 yards from shore in the feeding grounds of a great white. The Shallows is a tight little film and a great notch in the summer escapist cinema belt. It’s a tense tale of survival with a killer performance from Blake Lively that makes it well worth seeking out. (Meg Shields)

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.