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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Let’s be real: it’s not summer if you aren’t floating in the ocean and anxiously thinking about what’s below the surface. A common fear that most people have is encountering a 20-foot-long fish coming up to bite their foot off with its razor-like sharp teeth, envisioning a bloodbath swarming in the deep, dark blue Atlantic Ocean. I know I can’t be the only one, and I know this fear is romanticized in several movies.

During the summer, you may want to watch a traditional horror movie, or you can choose to fear the season you’re already swimming in. There are countless films that showcase the horrifying events of innocent victims just wanting to go for a dip in the ocean, but here are the ones you should watch if you love shark movies with suspense for what’s really below the deep blue sea.

From the 1975 classic Jaws to the 2023 movie 47 Meters Down, here is a list of the best shark movies you should watch for this summer.


Dun Dun… Dun Dun… Dun Dun, Dun Dun, Dun Dun…You can probably hear the classic sound while reading this.

It wouldn’t be summer without revisiting Jaws — one of the first movies of to be extensively filmed in the water, while also incorporating sharks into the narrative. It’s one of the all-time best movies for suspense and fear to get your heart rate beating. Jaws also realistically portrays the fear humans can possibly face while swimming in the sea.

The Shallows

Imagine you are stranded in the middle of the ocean with no one. No food, no clean water to drink, no friends, and no boats coming to save you. All you have is yourself, fighting for your life against a great white shark. Well, this is exactly what Nancy Adams faces in the 2016 film The Shallows, led by actress Blake Lively. Despite the dangerous situation Nancy faces needed to do alone (including giving herself stitches), she pulls through and tries to fight for her life all on her own.

Soul surfer

Inspired by the true story of Bethany Hamilton’s 2003 shark attack, where she lost her arm, this movie showcases her incredible bravery and the aftermath of what Hamilton faced as a young girl experiencing the emotions of being a survivor, and continuing to surf despite what happened to her. It’s an emotional, inspiring film that showcases Bethany’s story of how she determined herself to keep going. An additional highlight in this film is the support she has from her family, friends, and community that help her push through and keep going, while also getting adjusted to her life without an arm and still pursuing her passion for surfing.


This movie is based off of two sisters who travel to Mexico for a vacation. While on the trip, they come across a couple of guys who suggest to go caged shark diving. Kate (Claire Holt) convinces her sister Lisa (Mandy Moore) to take a risk and see the sharks.

When I watch this movie, I can feel the tension and fear these two women face beneath the pitch-black, bottomless ocean after the rope from the cage breaks and snaps, leaving them disconnected from the sailor on deck. With almost no oxygen left, you almost feel trapped watching the two sisters. Trying to survive, they find themselves reflecting on their life regrets and apologizing to each other about the situation they are in.


In this sequel, a group of friends travel down to scuba dive into a Mayan City underwater, only to find out that something else was swimming with them. Also emotional and facing regrets like Kate and Lisa in the first movie, there are many characters in this film who experience an extreme amount of guilt, one being a bully in a high school as she watches the person she bullied about to get eaten alive by a shark, as seen below in the clip.

Altogether, these movies are classics that you should watch. I don’t really suggest watching them before you take a dip into the ocean. Just always remember what’s below the surface…

Alyssa Naioti is a rising sophomore at the University of Connecticut. She is from Purchase, New York and plans to major in journalism with a minor in communications. Alyssa has a love for writing, including things such as makeup, wellness, pop culture, and entertainment. In the 2024 academic year, Alyssa Naioti was honored as the winning 'All Things Beauty Expert' by Her Campus UConn chapter, showcasing her passion and dedication to the beauty industry.