Sharks have fascinated human beings for centuries. Some people fear them due to their ability to fatally attack us. The idea that there is something predatory and primal waiting for us in the water taps into our collective anxieties.
That is why sharks are used predominantly in movies. Most films portray these animals as monsters that intentionally target swimmers. The truth is that shark attacks do not happen very often. This has not stopped Hollywood from churning out numerous movies where sharks are dangerous eating machines.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this 1975 shocker terrified the viewing public upon its release. It tells the story of an island town that is stalked by a giant great white shark. The film popularised shark attacks on the big screen and inspired many imitators.
Jaws has also had a negative impact on real world shark populations. Its unfair portrayal of the species painted them as evil creatures that are a threat to humans. This has made people less symptomatic to them being overfished at an alarming rate. Jaws has become the archetype of what sharks look like on screen. It is unfortunate that they have been caricatured as simply evil teeth with fins.
Deep Blue Sea
Released in 1999, Deep Blue Sea is about a research facility that genetically enhances the brains of sharks. When these creatures escape and the place begins to flood, the scientists working there need to escape. Much like Jaws, the film shows sharks in a negative light. They are used as the villains in this horror/action movie.
The Sharknado Series
In recent years a low budget action comedy series has become popular with the general public. The Sharknado films portray a fictional natural disaster where a tornado sucks up sharks. The animals are then able to fly onto land and attack human beings.
The sharks in these films are simply fodder for the heroes to destroy. Their only purpose is to kill as many of the characters as they can. These are sharks at their most caricatured. However, the ridiculous premise means that these films should not be taken too seriously.
Millions of years ago a colossal shark called the megalodon existed. This movie follows a scientist who finds one that has not gone extinct. The idea of this species surviving in deep trenches has fascinated science fiction fans. However, this concept is physically impossible.
This animated children’s film was made due to the popularity of Finding Nemo. It is about a great white shark who fakes his death and makes friends with a smaller fish. The sharks that appear in the movie act like the mafia gang members that are seen in crime dramas.