Hollywood Makes Waves With Aqua-Horror

Culture Writer
The Arbiter Online
Boise State University

The mystery of water and what lies beneath its surface has proven itself to be a big money-maker in the land of Hollywood.

While some flicks like “Finding Nemo” and “The Little Mermaid” might make audiences feel all warm and fuzzy inside, water movies are also notorious for delivering scary monsters in place of cuddly critters.

From “Jaws” to M. Night Shyamalan’s new film “Lady in the Water,” movies of this genre have made audiences want to stay as far away from the water as possible. Here is a selection from this vast field of thrillers.

“Jaws”: 1975 bought this horror from beneath. A gigantic great white shark terrorizes a beachside resort, killing off any people swimming in its path.

The only solution to this calamity? The locals have to venture out into the ocean and show the shark who’s boss. Regarded by many as a classic, particularly for a memorable opening scene and music score, “Jaws” proves to be one of the top aqua-horror films.

“The Ring”: What makes this movie so scary? It’s just about a little girl who was left to drown in a well by her suicidal mother, and to avenge her death sends out cursed video tapes that must be copied or the latest viewer will succumb to her wrath.

In other words, she’ll crawl out of the TV and kill whoever fails to copy her tape. That’s not so scary. But the villain Samara is hardly little Timmy who got stuck down a well, and she has no problem making things a big, wet mess for her victims.

“Open Water”: While it appears to be a movie about two people bobbing up and down in the ocean, “Open Water” provides its own set of scares. A young couple is accidentally left behind by their tour boat while scuba diving, and are forced to defend themselves against the ocean and its inhabitants.

These include hungry sharks and jellyfish that like to sting. And just a warning, the ending lands far from happy. Doesn’t that make scuba diving sound like a barrel of fun now?

“Lady in the Water”: Apparently, even pools aren’t safe anymore. M. Night Shyamalan’s “bedtime story” about a mysterious woman found in an apartment complex swimming pool may be new, but it already falls in line with its predecessors. Is the lady a friend or foe, and will the movie make audiences fear swimming pools as well?

Perhaps Shyamalan should just tell the lady to stay in the water.

Whether it involves sharks, vengeful apparitions, or out of control fairy tales, these movies have shown that water brings as much trouble as a thug with a knife.

To avoid these monstrosities, stay on firm, dry land. But even then, there’s always Bigfoot.