Over the past few decades, shark films have become their own little subgenre of horror. And it's not hard to see why they're so appealing.
They exploit a natural predator that exists in the real world and that people are inherently afraid of. It is no coincidence that nearly all of these shark films come out in the summer, when people are most likely to be at the beach and therefore most aware of the presence of sharks and other predators like them.
A new addition is coming to this genre this summer, with the upcoming film, The Meg. Judging from the trailer, it looks to take the genre into unexplored territory in size alone. The shark here is gargantuan, but the formula still looks very much the same.
So, to best prepare viewers for the standard formula of shark-in-the-water hijinks, these are the films one should watch. From the reprehensible trash of cinema to some all-time classics, these shark films will prepare viewers for what is to come with The Meg.
9. Shark Night
Shark Night 3D (!) had the painful timing of coming out in 2011, when the world was still going bonkers for 3D media in the aftermath of Avatar.
And that genuinely seems to be the only thought that ran through the producers' minds when crafting this schlock; just make the most tiresome and cliched version of a shark film one can possibly imagine, but do it in 3D. The end result is less-than-endearing.
It's a film that never commits to anything. At times it seems to want to just be taken as a surface-level slasher, exploitation film. But then it's PG-13 rating ensures that even genre fans are disappointed because it keeps them from showing much of anything.
It's the worst teen-slasher imaginable, just set in the water with a shark, and with truly painful 3D effects that have aged horribly. But it also plays in the same sandbox The Meg looks to be drawing from; ignorant teens, unexpected sharks in unexpected places, and shark attacks in vastly populated areas with several victims.
The Meg trailer features a look at the megalodon swimming beneath countless beach-goers in a couple of different shots and Shark Night is a prime example of how poorly this sort of sequence can be executed.