Movie trends ebb and flow, with thematically similar stories washing through our cinemas at regular intervals. War films, biopics, westerns, slasher movies, ghost stories – each has its season, and they return again and again in cyclical fashion. One trend that seems to be a constant, however, is the shark movie. Indeed, hardly a year goes by without some filmmaker or other telling a tale featuring these mythic marine villains.
It makes sense, because sharks make for excellent villains. Their almost prehistoric nature taps into our most primal fears, and these are then enhanced by the fact that these creatures lurk silently in the depths that represent a territory other than our own. Any encounter with a shark means that we, as humans, are literally and figuratively out of our depth. The water is their space, and we are the invaders.