Sharks are terrifying creatures which is probably why they’ve been featured in so many movies they might as well get their own genre.
Sharks are pretty docile in real life, they really only take an occasional chomp at humans because we’re hanging out in their territory, but they become something else entirely in movies.
From monstrous creatures that make you scared to go into the water to adorable animations that make you want to hug them, there’s no shortage of sharks on the big screen.
Just in time for Shark week (next week, July 24), we’ve compiled a list of the best shark movies – ranked from terrifying to terrifyingly ridiculous – that you can dive into on local streaming services right now.
Jaws is the shark movie of all shark movies. Its robo-shark Bruce may look a little weary on this side of 2020, but he still beats a bunch of the CGI sharks you see in movies nowadays. Jaws was the first movie that made us afraid to go in the water and it still holds up to this day.
There’s been a spate of shark attack movies, but The Shallows is one of the only good ones. The premise is simple, Blake Lively plays a surfer who gets swept away from shore and becomes stranded on an isolated rock with a hungry shark nearby. It’s a shark movie, so of course, it’s over the top, but it’s fun, tense and a lot more grounded than some of the films on this list.
You can rent The Shallows for $3.99 via Amazon, YouTube, Telstra TV or Fetch.
Deep Blue Sea
Another absolute classic shark movie, Deep Blue Sea pits a team of researchers at an underwater facility against a group of scary intelligent sharks.
It’s cheesy in a way that only 90s movies can be but it’s still a thrilling blockbuster ride with some notable scares. There are also two sequels if one wasn’t enough.
You can watch Deep Blue Sea on Stan.
47 Metres Down
Being stuck in a cage at the bottom of the ocean with a dwindling supply of oxygen and hungry sharks circling around is nobody’s ideal situation – but it makes for a great movie. 47 Metres Down is exactly what you’d expect from a B-grade shark movie so go in there with your expectations low and you’ll probably have a good time.
You can rent 47 Metres Down for $3.99 via YouTube or Telstra TV.
Shark Tale is an underrated DreamWorks classic. Starring an A-list roster of voice talent including Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, Robert De Niro and Renee Zellweger, Shark Tale puts us in the shoes of the fish.
Oscar is a fish who dreams of being rich and famous, so when he happens to witness the death of one of the mob boss sharks, he claims the glory and becomes a notorious Sharkslayer. Teaming up Lennie, a shark who’s dealing with being a vegetarian, Oscar helps to bridge the divide between sharks and fish. Shark Tale is only this far down the list because the concept is pretty ridiculous, but it’s also a funny and heartwarming story that proves not all sharks in movies need to be scary.
The Meg should’ve been the shark movie to end all others. It’s dealing with the Megadolon after all, the biggest sharks to ever roam the oceans. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t quite live up to the terrifying horror it set out to be in its trailer. If you’re expecting blood and gore, this is not the movie for you, but if you’re looking for size over substance, The Meg definitely has the largest sharks going around.
You can watch The Meg on Paramount+.
No shark list would be complete without Sharknado. The insane idea of a freak tornado that whips up sharks and allows them to murder us via land, earth and sea is just the kind of cheesy low-grade disaster movie you need after a bad day. If you thought one Sharknado was bad enough things only got more ridiculous with its five sequels: Sharknado 2: The Second One, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. The series owns its place as the most terrifyingly ridiculous shark movie, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a great time.
As you can see, there’s literally no stone unturned when it comes to shark movies. All that’s left is to pick which one you want to sink your teeth into first.
This article has been updated since it was first published.