Horror The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea  

Ranker Film
1.9k votes 472 voters 25.3k views 21 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite scary films that take place in the ocean, whether the danger is mainly in drowning, a hungry sea monster, or something more sinister.

The open sea can be scary in and of itself, but when a deadly force enters the picture it becomes downright terrifying. The top sea horror movies feature bloodthirsty sea creatures looking for their next meal. This is a list of the best scary ocean movies, including everything from The Abyss to Deep Blue Sea to Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep.

What films will you find on this list of the best water horror movies? A man-eating shark disrupts a sleepy resort town in the 1975 classic Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg. The suspenseful plot - along with the movie's timeless score - added to the frightening viewing experience. As the title suggests, Ghost Ship finds a haunted vessel tormenting fellow sailors. Other good movies featured on this list include Open Water, Sphere, and Shark Night.

Which scary water movie is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and share your thoughts in the comments section.

list ordered by

1
189 27
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

2
111 45
Deep Blue Sea is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, Thomas Jane Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 science fiction horror film, starring Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, LL Cool J, Michael Rapaport, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson. The film was directed by ...more

3
124 66
The Shallows is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Blake Lively

4
81 41
Ghost Ship is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Julianna Margulies, Emily Browning, Karl Urban Ghost Ship is a 2002 American-Australian horror film directed by Steve Beck. The film was shot in Queensland, Australia and Vancouver, Canada. It stars an ensemble cast featuring Gabriel Byrne, ...more

5
83 43
Open Water is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Saul Stein, Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis Open Water is a 2003 drama psychological horror film loosely based on the true story of an American couple, Tom and Eileen Lonergan, who in 1998 went out with a scuba diving group, Outer Edge ...more

6
81 43
Lake Placid is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Betty White, Mariska Hargitay, Bridget Fonda Lake Placid is a 1999 American monster horror comedy film. The film was written by David E. Kelley and directed by Steve Miner, starring Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan ...more

7
72 42
Jaws 2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Roy Scheider, Murray Hamilton, Ann Dusenberry Jaws 2 is a 1978 American horror thriller film and the first sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws, and the second installment in the Jaws franchise, which was based on Peter Benchley's novel of the ...more

8
25 5
The Meg is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Jason Statham, Jessica McNamee, Li Bingbing The Meg is a 2018 American science fiction action horror film directed by Jon Turteltaub, based on the book by Steve Alten. Former Naval captain and expert diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is ...more

9
69 40
The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction-adventure film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. When an American submarine ...more

10
48 28
Deep Rising is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Famke Janssen, Djimon Hounsou, Jason Flemyng Deep Rising is a 1998 American action horror film directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Treat Williams, Famke Janssen and Anthony Heald. It was distributed by Hollywood Pictures and Cinergi ...more

11
49 32
The Reef is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Zoe Naylor, Adrienne Pickering, Gyton Grantley The Reef is a 2010 Australian horror film. The film was written and directed by Andrew Traucki, his second feature film, and is about a group of friends who capsize while sailing to Indonesia. ...more

12
42 26
The Deep is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Nick Nolte, Jacqueline Bissett, Eli Wallach The Deep is a 1977 adventure film directed by Peter Yates and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The film stars Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, and Nick Nolte.

13
31 23
Dead Calm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane Dead Calm is a 1989 Australian thriller film starring Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane. It was based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Williams. The film was directed by ...more

14
42 35
Shark Night is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Katharine McPhee, Sara Paxton, Chris Carmack Shark Night is a 2011 American 3-D horror action film directed by David R. Ellis and written by Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg. It stars Sara Paxton, Katharine McPhee, Alyssa Diaz, Dustin ...more

15
28 22
Below is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Zach Galifianakis, Olivia Williams, Scott Foley Below is a 2002 World War II horror film directed by David Twohy. It was written by Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky and David Twohy, and stars Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, Matthew Davis, ...more

16
42 36
Piranha 3D is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Kelly Brook, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd Piranha 3D is a 2010 American 3D horror comedy film and a remake of the 1978 film Piranha. It was directed by Alexandre Aja and has an ensemble cast featuring Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, ...more

17
45 40
Sphere is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson, Dustin Hoffman Sphere is a 1998 science fiction psychological thriller film, directed and produced by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson. Sphere was based on the ...more

18
36 32
Triangle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani Triangle is a 2009 psychological horror thriller film written and directed by Christopher Smith. Jess (Melissa George) plays a single mother who goes on a boating trip with several friends. When ...more

19
30 29
The Beast is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
William Petersen, Adrienne-Joi Johnson, Charles Martin Smith The Beast is a 1996 television movie starring William Petersen, Karen Sillas and Charles Martin Smith. Aired in two parts as a miniseries, the movie is based on the 1991 novel Beast by Jaws ...more

20
25 25
Bait is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Jamie Foxx, David Morse, Jeffrey Donovan Bait is a 2000 comedy-crime film starring Jamie Foxx and David Morse. It was directed by Antoine Fuqua. The film was a huge financial failure, costing Warner Bros. $51 million but only grossing ...more

21
18 28
Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Horror Movies Set on the Open Sea
Cory Monteith, Victoria Pratt, Charlie O'Connell Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep, also known as Deadly Water, is a 2006 made-for-television natural horror B-movie produced by Nu Image Films and Brightlight Pictures as a Sci Fi Channel original ...more