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What is the Best Shark Movie That Isn’t Jaws?

July 22, 2019
What happens if you remove Jaws from the best shark movie question?

What is the best shark movie that isn’t Jaws? By removing the best shark movie ever from the list, a whole new world of possibilities open up because we’ve always just considered Jaws to be the stock number one pick (with good reason). I initially thought about putting together a list based on my opinions. But, that’s boring, so I pulled together the shark movies with reliable box office, critical and audience data, and I created nine categories to see how they stacked up against each other.  

Here are the movies:

  1. Jaws 2 (1978)
  2. Jaws 3-D (1983)
  3. Jaws: the Revenge (1987)
  4. Deep Blue Sea (1999)
  5. Open Water (2003)
  6. The Reef (2010)
  7. Shark Night (2011)
  8. Bait 3-D (2012)
  9. The Shallows  (2016)
  10. 47 Meters Down (2017)
  11. The Meg (2018)

*I know there are other shark movies. I just needed to have critical (Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic) audience (IMDb) and box office (Box Office Mojo) data to include them. 

Here are the nine categories:

  1. Rotten Tomatoes Score
  2. Metacritic Score
  3. IMDb Score
  4. Domestic Box Office
  5. Best Kill
  6. Best Shark
  7. Shark Screen Time
  8. Kill Count
  9. Amount of Sharks 
Here is how they ranked.

The Rules:

  1. The movie with the lowest amount of points wins
  2. The Shallows and The Reef both have impressive 79% Tomatometer Scores, so they each got 1 point, because they have the best critical scores. Jaws: The Revenge has a 0% Tomatometer Score, so it received the most points in the category. 
  3. Seven of the categories are based on data
  4. Two of the categories are based on my opinion

Quick note: I enjoy all of these movies. It’s very hard to make a theatrically released shark movie that I dislike. 

11. Bait 3-D – 64 points

Best Moment: A large shark gets blown away by a shotgun

People trapped inside a grocery store with two sharks is a fun idea

10. Shark Night – 57

Best moment: A Great White Shark gets up to 65 MPH to eat a guy on a jet ski (I did the math). 

Fastest shark ever

9. Jaws 3-D – 57

Best moment: The shark moves in slow motion and blows up a window

This is when the shark becomes kinda magical

8. Jaws: The Revenge – 55

Best moment: A lady gets eaten while riding a banana boat

I tracked the sharks journey. You should read the article.

7. 47 Meters Down – 53

Best moment: The flare scene

Pure nightmare fuel

6. Open Water – 52

Best moment: An ending that punches you in the gut

Open Water works despite featuring zero gentically modified sharks.

5. The Reef – 49

The Reef is a gut-punch of a movie that focuses on four people being hunted by a great white shark after their boat capsizes during their trip to Indonesia. Based on a true story, The Reef looks great on a tiny $3.8 million budget and a lot of the credit goes to director Andrew Traucki, who also directed the fun creature feature Black Water. I love how it focuses on an inferred threat, while still featuring a decent amount of shark action. The Great White’s presence is always felt, and while watching it again, I kept finding myself stressed out, despite knowing what was going to happen. You should check it out, it’s currently streaming on Shudder.

Best moment:The initial great white attack is super tense

Watch The Reef on Shudder. You will dig it.

4. The Meg – 39

It’s Jason Statham vs. a giant shark, nothing more needs to be said. It was a smash hit at the box office ($145 million domestic, $530 worldwide) and the critical scores weren’t terrible (46% RT and Metacritic). I think the fourth spot is accurate, because it’s not as insane as it should’ve been, but it still features a giant creature trying to eat Jason Statham. How awesome would it be if Statham and Crank 1 & 2 directors Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine reunited for the sequel?

Best moment: There are multiple megalodons 

Sadly, Statham never spin kicks the shark

3. Jaws 2 – 37

Jaws 2 is a solid sequel that adopts a “this sequel is unnecessary, so we’re gonna turn the violence to 11” style of storytelling. I love that the sharks face is burnt during a bonkers boat attack in the beginning of the film, because it looks super badass as it takes down helicopters and eats teenagers. I remember this movie scared the crap out of me when I was younger, because it focuses on a massive animatronic shark attacking teenagers who need way bigger boats. Also, it pulled in a very impressive $300 million (adjusted for inflation) at the domestic box office, which is a massive haul for any film.

Best moment: The boat attack and explosion is gnarly

I love how badass this shark looks with the burnt face

2. The Shallows – 32

The shark in The Shallows is one of my favorites (if not my favorite) because it holds grudges and is straight-up mean. Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, The Commuter) loves placing characters in desperate, time-dependant situations, then, putting them through the absolute wringer. Blake Lively crushes her role as a resourceful surfer, who is stuck on an isolated rock while an incredibly-mean great white shark circles her endlessly. The Shallows is a lot of fun, and I’m pretty sure you will love Steven Seagull. 

Best moment: The jellyfish attack. It looks really cool.

The Shallows features my favorite shark.

1. Deep Blue Sea 21

Deep Blue Sea is a perfect summer popcorn movie that features fun kills, inventive set-pieces and great animatronic sharks (The CGI sharks are soul-crushing though). I love that director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, The Long Kiss Goodnight) was given $60 million dollars to tell an original R-rated movie featuring genetically modified sharks chasing scientists around an underwater facility in the Pacific ocean. You won’t see many movies like this anymore, and I think that’s why it is still beloved by people like Stephen King and Brian Raftery. Also, the sharks are on screen a lot, and it features the best kill of any shark movie (including Jaws)

Best moment: Russell gets interrupted

Easy win. Deep Blue Sea is the clear #2 shark movie

Let us know your rankings in the comments!

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MFF Data: Analyzing the Moment When Samuel L. Jackson Met the Shark in Deep Blue Sea

July 19, 2019

Deep Blue Sea is one of my favorite movies, and with its 20th anniversary approaching on July 28th, I decided to over-analyze the movie to breakdown the surprise death of Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson). Even if you haven’t watched Deep Blue Sea, I’m 92.434% certain you know about Samuel L. Jackson’s surprise death, because it’s perfect. Here is how it goes down, the skeleton crew of Aquatica, an ocean research facility, are being chased by sharks and infighting has started amongst them. Noticing that morale is getting dangerously low, Franklin interrupts them and delivers a pep talk about how he survived a massive avalanche in the Alps. When he is about to hit the high-note of his speech, a shark comes out of the water and eats him mid-sentence.

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I’ve always wondered if the shark waited until the perfect moment to attack during the monologue. Did it purposefully wait until the high-note of the speech, or did it attack because Franklin suggested sealing up the wet entrance? Did it just randomly come across Franklin? To answer these questions, I went back and analyzed the actions of the generation II Mako shark (the 45-foot one) leading up to the classic death. We know the sharks planned the flooding of the facility, so they could escape through the aluminum fencing, which was 8-feet above the water. However, after uber-analyzing their plan, I’ve come to realize just how intricate and well-thought-out it was (The Joker from The Dark Knight would be jealous). I know the sharks don’t succeed, but they tried their hardest to escape the research facility of horrors.

Before I get into Samuel L. Jackson’s death, I wanted to give you a quick overview of the events that transpired before it.

This is a layout of Aquatica. Deep Blue Sea does a great job of breaking down the geography of the facility.

Quick note: The generation II mako was given an extra dose of the smart serum 24-hours before the test. So, it’s REALLY smart during the rushed testing process.

  1. When Carter Blake (Thomas Jane) goes out to catch the shark, it starts taking out the underwater security cameras so the people in the lab can’t track it, AND so they wouldn’t notice that it guided itself perfectly to land on the boarding platform
  2. The 8-ton shark lands PERFECTLY on the boarding platform. Carter Blake is good, but he isn’t good enough to tranquilize an 8-ton shark so it lands perfectly on a boarding platform. The shark is then brought into the wetlab which is located on the second sub-level
  3. The shark isn’t knocked out, it’s playing possum. That’s why it moves when the needles initially go into its head. The shark doesn’t attack Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) because they still need to destroy her research (hence the gratuitous attack later in her room), and it knows if it bites her, it will probably die. So, it bites Jim Whitlock (Stellan Skarsgard), knowing McAlester will let it go.
  4. The shark takes out the helicopter and the Aquatica control center with one strategic move. The explosion also starts the flooding of the 1st sub-level
  5. The shark rams the wetlab’s massive glass window with Jim’s gurney (that he is still attached to), which starts the flooding of the second sub-level. Knowing that the 1st sub-level is flooding, the shark then rams open the wetlabs doors to start flooding the 2nd level. This forces the scientists to the third sub-level (so many levels to this plan)
  6. While in the wet entry on the 3rd sub-level, they learn the submersible is destroyed (which is probably a good thing). They think about making a swim for it, but it would end in death. So, they decide to open up a door leading to the elevator, which will destabilize the room and cause tons and tons of seawater to enter. This is what the sharks want. They don’t want the humans swimming because they’d stop flooding the Aquatica. The shark also doesn’t want them to seal up the wet entry either. So, it eats Franklin when he got too immersed in his monologue. Then, the shark knows they will depressurize the area, so it swims away and shares Franklin with its generation I mako companion. When the area is flooded, the shark comes back and knocks open the door, which further sinks the Aquatica.

The shark was waiting for Franklin to arrive at an easily eatable location.

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When Russell finally gets into an easy position to eat, it takes 17 seconds for the shark to strike.

Here is the breakdown based on complete guesswork

  1. The shark is waiting for the Aquatica crew when they arrive in the wet entry on the 3rd sub-level.
  2. The wetlab entrance is 45 meters from the ocean floor.
  3. The shark swims backwards to the ocean floor to keep its eyes on Franklin – This takes 10 seconds.
  4. It stops and positions itself – 2 seconds.
  5. it explodes from the ocean floor and covers 45 meters in 5 seconds (29.6 feet per second, 20 miles per hour) and grabs Franklin in its mouth. Mako sharks are known for their insane jumps, so this makes sense. For comparison, here is an article about Great White sharks jumping out of the water.
  6. It swims away and shares the spoils with another shark.

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Renny Harlin really wanted to shock audiences with this surprise kill, and he totally did. I love how it makes logical sense, and makes the sharks seem like brilliant masterminds. Hopefully, when you watch Deep Blue Sea again, you appreciate the shark’s plan more, and know how it lead to Samuel L. Jackson becoming lunch.

If you like this random data about Deep Blue Sea. Make sure to check out the other data heavy article I wrote about Jim Whitlock’s gnarly death in Deep Blue Sea

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The MFF Podcast #206: Boar – The 2017 Horror Movie Featuring Nathan Jones Fighting a Giant Pig

July 18, 2019

You can download the pod on Apple Podcasts, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

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The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re talking about the giant killer pig movie Boar. Directed by genre director Chris Sun, this 2017 creature feature focuses on a giant pig running wild in the Australian outback. MFF contributor John Leavengood loves this movie (read his review) and couldn’t wait to talk about the fights, kills and brawl between Nathan Jones and the large monster. In this podcast, you will hear us talk about Australian creature features, practical effects and CGI monsters. If you are a fan of Boar, you will love this episode.

He is about to punch a giant pig

If you are a fan of the podcast make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening and hope you enjoy the pod!

You can download the pod on Itunes, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF Podcast #205: Eight Legged Freaks and Creature Features

July 13, 2019

You can download the pod on Itunes, Stitcher, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

Best movie spider ever.

The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re talking about the 2002 creature feature Eight Legged Freaks. This giant spider movie is totally underrated and we love its combination of humor, carnage and cheeky spiders who have charming personalities. It’s a shame that it underpeformed at the box office, because it’s very fun, and features solid CGI and inspired spider kills. In this podcast, you will hear us talk about John Travolta, creature features and death by slug. If you are a fan of Eight Legged Freaks you will love this episode! Enjoy.

I love this scene.

If you are a fan of the podcast make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening and hope you enjoy the pod!

You can download the pod on Itunes, Stitcher, Tune In, Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF Podcast #204: Election – The 1999 Cult Classic

July 8, 2019

You can download the pod on Itunes, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

 

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The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re talking about the 1999 cult classic comedy Election. Excellently Directed by Alexander Payne (Citizen Ruth, About Schmidt, Sideways), the film only made $14 million during its initial theatrical run, however, it’s built a cult following over the last 20 years. Election is a near-perfect comedy that gets better with age, and we still can’t get over how great Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein and Reese Witherspoon (she should’ve won an Oscar) are in their respective roles. In this podcast, you will hear us talk about trash, Pepsi, very tall rooms and running in circles. If you are a fan of Election, you will love this episode.

Reese should’ve been picked for an Oscar. She is awesome.

If you are a fan of the podcast make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening and hope you enjoy the pod!

You can download the pod on Itunes, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF Podcast #203: The Rocketeer

July 3, 2019

You can download the pod on Itunes, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

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The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re talking about the 1991 cult classic The Rocketeer. The movie didn’t take off in 1991, but since then, viewers have wisened up and realized it’s a blast (pun intended). Directed by Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) the PG-rated Disney movie has aged-well with its practical effects, fun performances and nostalgic vibes. In this podcast, you will hear us talk about fisticuffs, destruction of baked goods and Jennifer Connelly being awesome. If you are a fan of The Rocketeer, you will love this episode.

I love the costume.

If you are a fan of the podcast make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening and hope you enjoy the pod!

You can download the pod on Itunes, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

The MFF Podcast #202: Dragged Across Concrete

June 28, 2019

You can download the pod on Itunes, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

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The MFF podcast is back, and this week we’re talking about the controversial 2019 film Dragged Across Concrete. Directed and written by S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99) the film is a brutal look into a world filled with dirty cops, bank robbers and more dirty cops. We love how it makes nothing easy (it’s 159 minutes long), revels in the miniatue of everyday life, and features inspired Zahler-esque dialogue. In this podcast, you will hear us talk about sandwich eating, portable coolers and bank robbers who dress like amphibians. If you are a fan of S. Craig Zahler and Dragged Across Concrete, you will love this episode.

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If you are a fan of the podcast make sure to send in some random listener questions so we can do our best to not answer them correctly. We thank you for listening and hope you enjoy the pod!

You can download the pod on Itunes, StitcherTune In,  Podbean, or Spreaker.

If you get a chance please make sure to review, rate and share. You are awesome!

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