4 terrifyingly good shark movies that aren't 'Jaws'
This summer's 'The Shallows' is drawing comparisons to the mother of all shark movies. We take a look at a few more of our favorites.
With summer in full swing, Discovery Channel is about to air one of its most popular franchises: Shark Week. But the TV screen isn't the only place you'll see these wondrous beasts. Since "Jaws" first helped invent the summer blockbuster back in 1975, filmmakers have been trying to recreate the action, fun and terror of sharks vs. humans.
Below, we've rounded up a few of our favorite shark movies that have been trying to swim the same path and make waves like "Jaws." So grab that jumbo popcorn and prepare to be entertained.
If you're heading to the beach this July 4th weekend, you may want to pack some bravery in your cooler. A new film opening next week called "The Shallows" is being called the best shark movie since “Jaws." The movie starts American actress Blake Lively as a visitor to a locale known as paradise only to find out it's anything but idyllic when a killer shark is on the loose. Richard Roper of the Chicago Sun-Times calls it an "immensely entertaining millennial B-Movie, made for summertime viewing." Another critic declared: "'The Shallows' does for surfing what 'The Blair Witch Project' did for camping and makes 'Jaws' look like a children’s tea party."
The movie was made by Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra and Matti Leshem, an Israeli film producer who counts "The Shallows" as his first foray into big Hollywood films. While this may be Leshem's debut film, he's no stranger in front of the screen. The 53-year-old made his television debut in the popular 1980s soap opera "Falcon Crest" and also served as a judge on the new version of "Star Search" hosted by Arsenio Hall.
'Deep Blue Sea'
American actor Samuel L. Jackson has long found himself on the receiving end of a killer animal's wrath – take dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" and vipers on "Snakes on a Plane." But don't forget about the 1999 film "Deep Blue Sea" about a group of scientists searching for a cure for Alzheimer's disease on an isolated submarine research facility. Fluids from the brain tissue of three sharks are harvested. Unknown to the other scientists, one of them has genetically engineered the sharks to increase their brain size. This, in turn, makes the sharks smarter than the humans. Danger ensues.
This wasn't the first time Jackson battled baddies undersea. The year before, in 1998's "Sphere," Jackson portrayed a mathematician who travels underwater to examine a 300-year-old alien spacecraft on the ocean floor.
Meet Lenny, a shark voiced by comedic U.S. actor Jack Black. The underwater beast refuses to live up to expectations and opts instead to become a vegetarian. That's the catalytic event behind "Shark Tale," which also stars the voice talents of Robert DeNiro, Will Smith, Renee Zellweger, Martin Scorsese and Angelina Jolie. The big-name cast seems to have paid off: The 2004 blockbuster from Dreamworks Animation was nominated for an Academy Award.
Granted, this is not the scariest shark film we've ever seen. Indeed, the film was originally developed under the title of "Sharkslayer," but was later changed to make it less violent and more family friendly.
The 'Sharknado' franchise
Yes, the premise is completely absurd, but it's the sheer insanity that makes these films a guilty pleasure to watch. The premise is remarkably simple: Sharks merge with tornadoes and attack people from the air. As the Rotten Tomatoes movie review site declared: "Proudly, shamelessly, and gloriously brainless, 'Sharknado' redefines 'so bad it's good' for a new generation."
The Sy-Fy movie channel aired the first installment on July 11, 2013. By the next morning, with the Internet all abuzz over the sheer campiness and fun of the movie, the network was already working on a sequel. "Sharknado 2: The Second One" aired in 2014 and "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!," which saw sharks attack tourists at Universal Studios theme park, aired in 2015. The third sequel "Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens" will air this July. We can hardly wait.
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