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[‘Jaws’ Week] The Best Aquatic Horror Movies That Aren’t ‘Jaws’

Steven Spielberg’s classic film Jaws turns 40 on Saturday, you guys! To commemorate the event, we decided to throw a “Jaws Week” together and celebrate this tremendous feat for aquatic horror films. Jaws pretty much set the standard for aquatic horror films, yet there hasn’t been one that has matched it in quality. That being said, there have still been some awesome aquatic horror films to come out since 1975. In no particular order, here are some of our favorites!

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  • H666

    what about Leviathan (wonderful Stan Winston monster) and DeepStar Six? there was a real run of underwater horror movies in the late 80s. both cheesy but a lot of fun

    • Harbottle64

      Funnily enough, these were the exact 2 movies I would have added to the list.

  • Kori Batchelor

    Deep Rising. Really fun and entertaining flick with a neat monster.

    • tbaio

      One of the absolute best. Good call.

    • Daniel Anderson

      No idea how I haven’t seen this yet.

      • James Allard

        You really should correct that.

    • J Jett

      DEEP RISING is awesome!

    • Darkness69

      Was just about to put it on the list – you can’t beat those worms!

  • Billie4956

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  • Hero of Time

    Deep Star Six. One of the first horror movies I watched as a kid.

  • Daniel Anderson

    Danny Trejo is the one who really made anaconda work.

  • tbaio

    I was an absolute sucker for Orca & Shark Night 3-D; but hey, that’s just me.

    • Darren Rouse

      Orca is highly underrated and thought it might seem like a Jaws ripoff, there’s way more to it. Shark Night 3D is a terrible movie…but I still love it. 😛

    • WindowsIsDead

      Orca is beautiful, the fetus scene terrorized me for years. Also the eye shots were so cool, it gave personality to the whale as you could see the angriness and thirsty for vengeance on his eyes.

    • brewers_rule

      I liked Orca but it was cheapened by the whole ‘man is evil & must pay’ environmental message to it. Shark Night had one thing going for it: Katharine McPhee.

  • brewers_rule

    What? No Deep Star Six or Leviathan? Travesty. Anaconda will always be the movie that made me fall for Jennifer Lopez..and wet tank tops.

    • WindowsIsDead

      Love Leviathan, is like The Thing and Alien had a baby in the water

  • J Jett

    is THE HOST 2 ever ever ever going to see the light of day? it’s been years (at least 2 or 3) since that footage from the sequel appeared on this site.

  • Richter Belmont

    Lake Placid is excellent! Another good killer croc film is Rogue with Radha Mitchell. I’d also add Deep Rising.

    • Judge Satchmo

      Very surprised to not see Rogue on this list. one of the only “jaws themed” movies you can admit to liking with a completely straight face.

  • Matt Gleason

    I’d add 2002’s Below to the list for psychological horror. Creeped me out!

  • Seal Clubber

    I’s add “The abyss” to the list …

    • WindowsIsDead

      I don’t think The Abyss quite fits the Horror category.
      But don’t get me wrong, it’s a good film.

    • brewers_rule

      I agree. Waterworld should’ve made the list too. F’ing SCARY water flick.

  • WindowsIsDead

    What about Virus? It’s not quite in the water, but it is in a boat and has Jamie Lee Curtis.
    Has been some time since I watched it tho, but I remember it being at least decent.

  • Trioxin83

    Oh man what about Leviathan?!? Such a great movie!

  • Bigtasty

    Frankenfish surprised me. And a croc film that i cant remember the name of where they are stuck in a tree near a croc nest( Black water i think)

    • concerned citizen


      • Chad Langen

        No he’s talking about Black Water. Although, both that and Rogue are great crocodile movies.

      • Bigtasty

        Thats the one. enjoyed that

  • Brian

    I have you all beat… 2007’s ROGUE about a crocodile in the Australian outback that starts jawing it up. If you haven’t seen it, watch it… it is great. Radha Mitchell is the outback guide with a bunch of tourists and a rogue croc starts to hunt them. Great stuff. It definitely beats most, if not all these other Jaws wannabees. I did love Deep Blue Sea though.

  • Maxime C

    I agree very much on The Triangle !!
    Where’s The Reef, though?


    I totally forgot about alligator, that movie was so much fun back in the day. need to revisit if I run across it. I like deep rising too

  • Bloody Blondie

    You have way too many campy, silly moves on this list! You missed some great water terror features! Leviathan: Great 80s underwater creature feature. Black Water: recent great Aussie horror about a croc excursion that goes horribly wrong. Deep Star Sixx: Another 80s underrated, underwater creature feature. Orca: Killer whale seeks bloody revenge on humans.

    • Chad Langen

      Yes! I could not remember if that film was called Back Water or Black Water. But yes, it’s from the same guy that did The Reef, which like you say, is one of the best recent shark movies. In fact, it’s one of the best shark movies ever made.

  • lonestarr357

    I liked PIRANHA 3D fine, but better than the Dante movie? That’s bonafide crazy talk.

    And CROCODILE was ass. Hard to believe that the same guy was responsible for POLTERGEIST and THE FUNHOUSE.

  • Chandler Of-Adelaide

    Crocodile and Alligator but no Deep Rising? For shame, sir.

    • James Allard

      Deep Rising. One of the most ignored movies ever made, and one of the most entertaining… damn, Hollywood remakes and reboots and whatever, this film ended on a “Just Wait Till The Next One Comes Out” note that made me grin ear to ear.

    • Ting Shie

      Totally agree!!

    • Evan3

      I don’t think Deep Rising quite nailed what it was going for, but the ending alone is worth an honorable mention.

      • Chandler Of-Adelaide

        I dunno, it always seemed like it was trying to be a silly/campy action based monster flick and I thought it did that perfectly.

        • Evan3

          I have no doubt they were going for a cheesy throwback as that seems to be the only type of movie Stephen Sommers ever tries to make. I just don’t think it landed, I found it more tedious than fun and didn’t really care for the lead’s performance (wasn’t it Treat Williams?). I think Sommers captured what he was going for way better in the Mummy than Deep Rising.

          • Chandler Of-Adelaide

            Different strokes I guess. I loved it. Plus, I’ve got a soft spot for Treat Williams (Xander Drax in The Phantom) 😛

  • Shirley K. Lee

    I love Bloody-Disgusting..

    >>>>>>>> ———–Continue Reading>

  • Deep blue sea when it got practical, it was awesome! It was the terrible CGI that kinda spoils the film – the kitchen scene is particularly effective as well as the bedroom one! and no deep blue sea? The cast there is b-movie heaven – Wes Studi, Famke Janssen, Treat Williams, Trevor Goddard, Cliff Curtis, Jason Flemyng!

  • Also where is the australian flick Rogue? That was some intense s***!

  • SilentXero

    Great list! Here are a few of my favorites in addition to the list: Deep Rising (ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! Wish they would make a sequel.), Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep (Sci-Fi channel movie, but I really enjoyed it), Rogue, Primevil, Octopus (cheesy but fun and a gorgeous blond), Humanoids from the Deep, Lords of the Deep, Deep Star Six, Leviathan. The Monster From Piedras Blancas (great schlock from the 1960’s) , and The Bermuda Depths.

  • Halloween_Vic

    Ananconda, Deep Blue sea, Lake Placid, The Host and Pacific Rim( Like the one Kaiju that looked like a shark) take the cake for me.

  • ZH

    Dead Calm….Deep rising….Shark Night 3D….Leviathan….Deep Star Six….Rogue…Primevil….Humanoids From The Deep….Tentacles (scared the crap out of me when I was a kid)….Orca….The Raft – from Creepshow 2!!!!!

  • Chad Langen

    Dude, The Reef is one of the best freakin’ shark movies ever made. Rogue is also better than every crocodile movie you listed.

  • spooky

    Deep Star Six, Leviathan… missing! :O

  • trob6969

    Eli Roth is supposedly making a Jaws-like movie about the 60′ prehistoric shark, megaladon.

    • sliceanddice

      God save us (just my opinion.)

  • Canucklehead

    Best aquatic horror film has to be Showgirls, after all it had that scene in the swimming pool right?

  • The One and Only

    Also ANACONDA got a “Two Thumbs Up !” from Siskel & Ebert to boot.

  • The One and Only

    Also, I’m surprised that the rape happy fishmen from HUMANOIDS FOM THE DEEP(1980) didn’t get a shout out as well.

  • James Packman

    RAZORTOOTH – giant killer eel film.Worth it for the shower drain scene alone

    • Evan3

      I looked that scene up on YouTube. Cheesy goodness.

  • PsychoMantis18

    Great that you acknowledged Piranha 3D. Up there with Aja’s first two I recon.

  • Michael Zeininger

    Rogue by Greg McLean is a lot of fun. Really suspenseful, good croc effects, surprising deaths.

  • hicksmuld

    Shark Night is deplorable but still a guilty pleasure. It has a few really cool scenes and Sara Paxton is so hot.

    • Darnell

      I agree… Shark Night is bad but I really enjoy it. It’s one of those movies that you watch in secret but trash in group conversations with your buddies.

  • zybch

    Good old Anaconda eh? Who else saw the backwards flowing waterfall and shouted at the screen?!

  • Nick Aites

    What, no Orca?

  • Evan3

    OMG! I never expected to see one of my guilty pleasures on this list. But to my surprise, there it is. Tobe Hooper’s Crocodile (and I enjoy the wholly unrelated Crocodile 2 as well). It is really a blast of B-movie goodness. The croc itself is great. Hillbilly rednecks get chomped. One actor is delightfully obnoxious. The crocodile smashes through a cement wall. It is FANTASTICALLY bad. Glad to see it get some due.

    Of course, I love Lake Placid too.

    I have never seen Alligator, but that scene of the kid’s death is awesome (and I bet, even better in context).

  • Nohea Brown


  • sliceanddice

    I kinda liked the reef

  • Adrienne Santiago

    Love love love Deep Blue Sea– we just watched it recently on Netflix and I totally forgot that Stellan Skarsgaard is in it. And Anaconda scared the crap out of me as a kid. While I live in Florida now, I’m originally from upstate New York–and we were on vacation in Orlando when we saw the movie and the whole trip I kept thinking an anaconda would come kill me at our hotel…
    Having said that, since you’ve included “lake” terrors under the “aquatic” theme, I will put my vote for Zombeavers to be added to the list. It was HILARIOUS. Totally stupid, totally fun, and the gore is just awesome.

  • mike5446g

    I know I’m like a year late here, but I have to throw ‘Dagon’ in here. It’s a suprisingly watchable take on Lovecraft’s ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’. Definitely one of the best Cthulhu-ish film adaptations out there. Whole lotta aquatic freakiness.

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