47 meters down

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: the best shark attack movies you’ve probably never seen!)

Shark attack movies bit into the public consciousnesses in 1975 with Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, and while no other film has come close to matching its quality or sheer entertainment value, that hasn’t stopped filmmakers from trying. That’s a good thing. Because when done right, shark attack films can be terrifying and/or immensely fun to watch, but when done wrong, we get most of the shark movies that have been produced in the past decade. I’m looking at you Sharknado, 3-Headed Shark Attack, and Snow Sharks.

It’s worth wading through the bad to get to the good though, as Jaws 2 is an okay sequel, Deep Blue Sea is a ton of fun, and Open Water is an utterly harrowing experience. Last year’s The Shallows was a hugely entertaining surprise too, and this week’s 47 Meters Down is hoping to follow in its sandy footsteps. I’m staying optimistic, but seeing as the film was released on DVD ever so briefly last year before being pulled for an eventual theatrical roll-out, I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath on it.

So there are the good to great shark attack movies you already know and love and abysmal ones with cheap, intentionally (?) terrible CG effects and zero effort towards suspense or thrills. (There’s also the Bollywood shark movie, Aatank, which I so wanted to include here but couldn’t bring myself to do in good conscience. It’s a two hour movie, and only about five minutes of it is shark related… but what a five minutes. Oh my.) There are also good to great ones that somehow slipped through the cracks, and while I expect a couple of the ones below have already graced some of your eyeballs, I’d recommend seeking out the others for some good old-fashioned elasmobranch fish fun!

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Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, American Psycho) has been working on two new scripts in the past couple years. One is the very tantalizing The Golden Suicides, which chronicles the fall of art-world power couple Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan, who trapped themselves in a bubble of paranoia that burst only with their double suicide.

The other is Bait, a movie about a kid who feeds a bunch of rich people to sharks. Guess which one is getting made first, and with Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader at the tiller? Read More »

I never realized that I wanted to see a remake of the market sections of The Mist where Stephen King’s crazy monsters are played by tiger sharks. But then I saw the sales trailer for Bait, the 3D ‘sharks in a supermarket’ film by Highlander director Russell Mulcahy, and I realized how limited my vision has been. Prepare to have your own perception of the world irrevocably changed, too, when you watch the footage that lurks in the shallows after the break. Read More »

ellis_shark

American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has a couple of projects in the works. One is his co-writing deal with Gus Van Sant, where the pair will chronicle the lives and odd, tragic suicides of artist/filmmaker couple Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake.

The other project is another writing gig that we haven’t known much about. But many things become clear during the American Film Market, where indie pics are shopped for financing and distribution. The latest Ellis script is a revenge tale that takes place among a group of rich kids when they get involved with a working class kid in a beach resort town. The film is called Bait, and the main character seeks to use an unusual and possibly entertaining method of gaining his revenge: he wants to feed the rich kids to sharks. Read More »