The Horror Honeys: These Movies Will Leave You Gasping for Air!

These Movies Will Leave You Gasping for Air!

A Revenge Honey Ecology Lesson/Ocean Horror List with Linnie!


Not me, but a fairly accurate likeness.
As a wee Honey Bee, before we realized I had dyscalculia, my dream was to be a marine biologist. While that dream may permanently remain unrealized, my obsession with the ocean has never wained one iota. Everything about the ocean fascinates me, but nothing more so than the deep ocean/deep sea. This is the lowest layer of the ocean where no light permeates, leading to the evolution of some of the most fascinating (and terrifying) creatures in known existence. For example:

The Goblin Shark
Nightmare fuel, yet oddly snuggly?
The giant purple jellyfish
No amount of pee would save you from this guy
The giant isopod
He has... alien eyes. He's an alien. ALIENS LIVE IN OUR OCEANS!
The vampire squid
Completely invisible... until he wants to eat you, & then he lights up
like frigging Christmas!
The angler fish
He's my favorite. He's gonna eat ya with his toothy grin!
Deep Sea Hatchet Fish
They will eat your souls. Just accept it.
The deep sea Pacific viperfish
Nom nom nom, I'll munch your face!
Now, while thousands of species have been discovered in the deep sea, it's important to note that there is still so much we don't know about the substance that covers the majority of the planet we live on. First, one of my favorite "WTF" ocean stories involves the infamous "Bloop." Do you know about The Bloop? Well, my friends, if not... it's time you learned.


That's right: a sound from the bottom of the ocean that no living or known creature is large enough to create. What does that mean? It means that an unknown being living at the absolute bottom of the ocean is bigger than a motherfraking blue whale and we have no idea what it is. Let that rattle around in your head for a while kiddies. Factor in the recent discovery that octopuses are likely not of this world, and I am a firm believer that when something decides to take down humanity, it's coming from the ocean.

After all of this, you might think that I'd be terrified of horror films set in the deep sea or involving unknown sea creatures, but hot damn, you'd be wrong! I love any film that focuses on the dangers and beauty of the ocean, especially when that film has a horror-theme. So as a Hexmas present to all you lovelies, I decided to compile my favorite movies that focus on the deepest, darkest, and strangest that the big blue has to offer! 

Now, for the sake of fairness, I'm focusing on films that take place primarily UNDER water, or involve sea creatures that are not scientifically accurate (thus far). So no Jaws, no Lake Placid, no Anaconda, etc. Because we all know that Jaws wins everything.

So strap on your regulator and make sure you have a diving knife, because things are about to get salty in here!

10) Sphere (1998)

I only recently saw Barry Levinson's Sphere for the first time, and I can understand why some people don't like it. It's overly-long and the ending is a little hippy-dippy and granola-y, which was obnoxious given how dark the rest of the film was. Sphere focused on a disparate group of professionals (made up of Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Coyote, and Dustin Hoffman) who venture under the ocean to explore a supposed alien spacecraft. What they find inside is a load of dead people and a gooey sphere that seems to be making their worst nightmares come to life. Come for the unsettling ocean-based monsters and stellar cast, but just resign yourself to the fact that the ending will annoy you.

If there is something gooey under the ocean, SLJ will find it.

9) Leviathan (1989)

George P. Cosmatos' Leviathan has been dismissed by many as an underwater rip-off of Carpenter's The Thing, and the comparisons aren't unwarranted. Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Daniel Stern, and Amanda Pays star as a group of deep sea miners who discover a wrecked Soviet ship, and salvage the cargo. It's not a lifetime supply of borscht however, but an alien parasite that begins to overtake them one-by-one. Part zombie film, part monster movie, part old-fashioned alien sci-fi, Leviathan is a serious product of the decade in which it was released, but that doesn't make it any less of an enjoyable addition the ocean horror canon. 

Hehehe, everything is sexual in a horror movie.

8) It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)

It Came From Beneath the Sea is one of the original films to address the long-lasting effects of the H-bomb and what it could mean for the environment (along with Godzilla and its zillion sequels). A giant octopus, now ravenous for a new kind of food, arrises from the deepest part of the ocean and takes out his insatiable hunger on the good people of California (snerk). This sci-fi classic endures because although it is (of course) dated, it's one of the more entertaining eco-horror films from the 50s by far. Plus, the famous Golden Gate Bridge scene has gone on to inspire many a future horror film!

OH HAI GUYS!

7) Below (2002)

Written by Darren Aronofsky and directed by David Twohy, Below is easily one of the most underrated science-fiction films of all time. Focusing on the crew of US Navy submarine in 1943, Below features an awesome cast of character actors including Bruce Greenwood, Scott Foley, Jason Flemyng, Olivia Williams, Zach Galifianakis (in one of his earliest film roles), and Holt McCallany (if you don't know his name, look him up. He's the awesome guy in most every movie you've ever seen). To talk too much about Below is to do it a real disservice, so I'm just going to recommend that you watch it. It's worth it.

SO many terrifying images

6) DeepStar Six (1989)

DeepStar Six is another film that is often described as The Thing under water, but in this case, it's a little harder to disagree. Set aboard the titular prototype underwater colony, the colony is threatened when a cavern system (possibly containing some sort of new ecosystem) is discovered nearby. The eternal struggle of man vs. money vs. nature plays out, when (of course) an unseen monster begins attacking, eventually making its way on to the DeepStar Six. The creature looks suspiciously like the extinct sea scorpion, but Sean S. Cunningham's (of Friday the 13th fame) film is entertaining as hell, and more than worth a watch if you've never seen it.

Run Miguel Ferrer! RUN!

5) The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)


If you saw Creature from the Black Lagoon as a kid and weren't terrified, you are a damn dirty liar. While the creature may look silly to our modern eyes, this is a film that benefits from allowing yourself the pleasure of watching it as if its 1954. The Creature must have been utterly unsettling to 50s audiences, and there is still something frightening when you lock eyes with the Gill-man. Featuring two of the best "men in suits" performances in history, Creature from the Black Lagoon is a damn classic, and if you don't agree... you're a damn dirty liar.

And Gill-Man will bite your face off.

4) Dagon (2001)

Stuart Gordon's Dagon, based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft (The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and oddly enough, not Dagon), is another of those amazing films which I am baffled that more people haven't seen. Gordon's film is set in a coastal town where the villagers worship, Dagon, an ocean god who demands live sacrifices and human women with which to breed. The result is a city full of half ocean mammals/half humans, the leader of which is the beautiful and squid-legged Uxia (played by SQHF-inductee Macarena Gómez). Made in the 00s with loving 80s aesthetics, Dagon is a must own for any horror fan, but especially for those who love ocean-based horror.

If Uxia is real, I wanna be her best friend, please.

3) Deep Blue Sea (1999)

The one shark exception on this list are the genetically modified super-smart sharks of Renny Harlin's Deep Blue Sea. Even the most cynical among us is usually forced to admit that Deep Blue Sea is one of the more effective shark films made in recent memory... since Jaws obviously. The only thing more terrifying than the already incredibly intelligent shark is a shark that has been made brilliant by poorly thought out genetic tinkering. Anchored by a horror A-Team including Thomas Jane, LL Cool Jay, Stellan Skarsgård, Saffron Burrows, and briefly, Samuel L. Jackson, Deep Blue Sea is the kind of ocean film that doubles down on the horror, by making sharks AND underwater science labs equally terrifying.

WHO EATS SAMUEL L. JACKSON? Besides raptors and sharks, anyway.

The Deep (1977)

My number two film on this list is also, as far as I'm aware, the least talked about, which is a damn shame. Based on a book by Peter "Jaws" Benchley, The Deep stars Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset as a couple on a dive vacation who stumble on some treasure in a shipwreck in Bermuda. When the couple approach a lighthouse keeper/treasure hunter with the artifacts (played by ROBERT SHAW, COME ON!), they are pulled into a centuries-old mystery involving drugs, Spanish royalty, and voodoo. While the film was a box office success upon its release, it's not had the enduring legacy of Jaws, which sucks. The Deep is thrilling, with beautiful underwater scenes, and deserves some attention, especially from fans of horror mysteries!

What a beauty! Jacqueline Bisset is alright too.

The Abyss (1989)

MAN do I hate giving James Cameron credit for... anything, but the fact of the matter is, The Abyss is far and away my favorite ocean film of all time. The Abyss features Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn (among others) as a team of civilian divers and NAVY Seals sent to investigate the cause of a nuclear submarine crash. Of course, it's James Cameron, so the answer is aliens, but they are some of the most beautiful aliens I've ever seen in a sci-fi film. On top of that, the love story at the heart of The Abyss is one of my favorites in science-fiction, second only to Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain. But most of all, I love The Abyss because it confirms what I've suspected all along...

When we DO make contact with an alien species, it will be at the bottom of the ocean.

So pretty and shiny... I'd get sucked in too.

Honorable Mentions to: The Host and The Bay


Both films are awesome, but The Bay is a bit too close to reality to qualify (the parasite in the film is a "based on a true story" bug) and The Host is more monster movie than ocean movie. Still, watch them both!

What is YOUR favorite deep sea horror film?
Tell me on Twitter: @linnieloowho