Sharks. They're the reason so many of us refuse to tip our little piggies into the deep blue. Sensationalized by movies like Jaws, these fascinating sharp-toothed fish are what nightmares are made of, despite not really being as vicious and villainous in real life. So, how does one get over their galeophobia when the internet is abuzz with dramatic footage of great whites ripping apart prey?
Watching any of these goofy shark movies is definitely a good start. On the opposite end of the spectrum as Jaws or even a more contemporary middling movie Deep Blue Sea, these horrible films feature sharks that are hard to be afraid of. Either riddled with poor CGI or simply conceptually ridiculous, we love to watch them for how utterly silly they are.
1. Bait (2012)
Listen. This list could be nothing but terrible Syfy movies about shark attacks, shark hybrids, or ghost sharks, but that’s the cheap way out and overlooks movies that could have been good. Movies like Bait, which take a decent premise and fail to do anything about it.
When a tsunami hits the Australian coast, a mixed bag of people become trapped in a grocery store. With a shark. It’s like a game where you list out a concept and just add “with a shark” to make it dumb. Or cooler, depending on the premise. Bait could have worked if there had been any chemistry between the characters, and the shark would have been better used. A clever setpiece does redeem Bait a little, but not enough to be a recommended watch.
2. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
A group of girls decide to go diving in an underwater cave system in Mexico, but things quickly go wrong when they stumble upon a hidden city of underwater ruins. Against their better judgement, they explore the winding system of caverns and tunnels, eventually finding themselves face to face with blind great whites. That really could be a scary concept, like an underwater spin on The Descent. However, 47 Meters Down fails in the worst of ways to make the sharks feel like a threat.
The biggest problem? Outside of the bad CGI, it's one of those movies where the protagonists make bad decisions just so that the plot can move forward and someone can be eaten. The characters feel less like people and more like horrible idea robots.
3. Shark Night 3D (2011)
A group of college friends heads to a remote lake house for a weekend of fun and relaxation, only to find themselves terrorized by various deadly shark species in the lake. As the group tries to survive, they realize that the sharks were deliberately placed in the lake, and their weekend getaway has become a twisted survival game.
Again, a concept that could have been scary in the right hands, but once you see that “3D,” you know you're in for a slow and janky ride. Did director David R. Ellis learn nothing from Jaws 3? Sharks and 3D don't work, and the concept really doesn't make use of the animatronic sharks developed by the same team that crafted the makos for Deep Blue Sea.
4. Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018)
If you were to put the core plots of Deep Blue Sea and its sequel side-by-side, you'd have a difficult time telling them apart. They both take place in some impossible aquatic research facility, where someone does something to shark brains for whatever reason. Cue a shark wreaking havoc and flooding the facility, forcing our heroes to swim their way to safety in shark-infested waters.
The thing about Deep Blue Sea 2, though, is that it's missing Samuel L. Jackson, there's no LL Cool J theme song, Thomas Jane is criminally absent, and the rest of the cast has nothing on the original's lineup of mostly likeable characters. What the movie lacks in charm it tries to make up for in slasher levels of gore, and it simply doesn't work.
5. Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
After Chief Brody's death, his widow and son visit the Bahamas to escape it all. However, when a great white shark starts attacking the family, Ellen Brody becomes convinced that it's seeking revenge against them specifically. With the help of a local pilot, they attempt to hunt down and kill the vengeful shark before it can claim any more lives.
Despite being one of the worst movies ever made, it did gift us this hilarious quote from Michael Caine. In an interview, he commented, “Somebody said, ‘Have you ever seen Jaws 4?' I said, ‘No. And by all accounts, it's terrible. But I have seen the house it built. And It's terrific!”
Caine also claims to have never read the script for this film and immediately signed on upon reading the first page, which said, “Fade In EXT: The Bahamas.” You have to appreciate his honesty.
6. The Meg (2018)
A group of researchers discover a prehistoric megalodon shark, believed to be extinct for millions of years. When the monstrosity races toward civilization, there's only one thing to do: kill the magnificent discovery. Jason Statham headlines one of the most disappointing blockbusters ever. The Meg is based on Steve Alten's novel, A Novel of Deep Terror, but fails to use the source material very well.
The Meg was slapped with a PG-13 rating, which really cut down on the shark violence. And in a movie like this, it's the horror elements that's going to drive the experience.
7. Sharks of the Corn (2021)
What's to say about a movie that's trying to riff on Stephen King's Children of the Corn but replaces all the creepy little kids with great white sharks? It's always disappointing when a movie has no redeeming qualities. You'd think the production could at least squeeze an honest, genuine laugh into their nearly two-hour slog, but alas, one never comes.
While the movie is meant to be ridiculous, as all of Tim Ritter's movies are, this is a whole new level of bad. We'd jump into a tank of ravenous great whites just to avoid watching something so dreadful.
8.. Ghost Shark (2013)
A fisherman kills a great white shark, but its spirit returns to seek revenge on the people responsible for its death. The ghost shark can appear in any body of water, including swimming pools and bathtubs, leading to ridiculous but hilarious deaths. If the filmmakers had opted to take a more dramatic spin on this, there maybe could have been some cool set pieces or an iconic kill or two. However, the idea to go full schlock for Syfy made this quite difficult to sit through.
If you're doing a shark movie, at least make the attacks look good. Otherwise, you're leaving viewers with a bad taste in their mouths.
9. Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
A megalodon shark terrorizes a beach resort, and a lifeguard and a marine biologist team up to stop it. The movie is notorious for its terrible special effects, which it uses ad nauseam in frequently repeated stock shots. As if the visuals weren't bad enough, the dialogue is on a whole different level of awful, making it difficult to sit through the small bits of exposition between the poorly executed shark attacks.
The Shark Attack series was never of a higher caliber, but the third entry really took a nosedive. Megalodons should be a cool addition to any shark movie. For this series, it was the nail in the coffin that sent it back to the depths.
10. Shark Side of the Moon (2022)
You would never in a million years guess the plot of this science fiction failure. Decades after the Soviet Union developed and sent genetically altered, unkillable sharks to the moon, U.S. astronauts stumble upon the race of humanoid sharks and engage in a fight for their lives. We'll give credit where it's due. It's at least a coherent way for sharks to wind up on the moon.
Unfortunately, even making concessions for the plot, we can't overlook every other poorly done aspect of Shark Side of the Moon. Although we'd love Pink Floyd to take that spoof on its popular song and run with it.
11. Sharknado (2013)
A massive tornado hits Los Angeles, causing thousands of sharks to be swept up into the air and rain down on the city. A group of friends must battle the flying sharks and stop the storm before it destroys everything in its path. The movie became a famous meme for its absurd premise and over-the-top action scenes, spawning a series of increasingly ridiculous sequels.
Sharknado is the Snakes on a Plane of its time, surviving merely on its meme-worthy status. It is a little difficult to critique a series that somehow drew in the likes of John Heard, Mark Cuban, Vivica A. Fox, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and so many other cameos.
12. Noah's Shark (2021)
This might be one of the worst shark movies ever made, but it's sure to earn a laugh or two. This is another movie that could have been worth watching in different hands. The premise is somewhat interesting and follows a televangelist on the hunt for Noah's ark, only to find it cursed and protected by a deadly great white.
Connecting sharks with biblical references is a fun idea, especially considering how old they are. Unfortunately, it's wasted on a poorly made movie that can't take itself seriously.
13. Open Water 2: Adrift (2006)
Whereas the first Open Water movie was based on a devastating true story, its sequel is based on a short story written by Japanese author Koji Suzuki Richardson. In fact, the two movies weren't even connected when Adrift was written, but when Open Water proved successful, it seemed logical to try to capitalize off the name power.
Unfortunately for everyone, it didn't work. Open Water 2 was simply a bad movie, and it made almost $40 million less than its predecessor, barely covering its budget. The movie's biggest fault was that it seemed to try to ape the original, just without the same stakes and an unlikable cast.
14. Sharktopus (2010)
When the military decided to create a half-shark, half-octopus creature, they didn't think this hilarious beast would cause so much trouble in the beautiful waters of Mexico. When Sharktopus escapes into the wild, chaos ensues.
There's really not much to say here. Sharktopus was released as part of Syfy's collection of really bad horror/science-fiction films that focused on a dumb animal hybrid.