Graveyard Shift

The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea  

Ranker Film
1.6k votes 284 voters 13.2k views 26 items

There's nothing scarier than a horror movie set at sea. The top horror movies set on ships feature deadly threats from real-life elements as well as supernatural occurrences and hauntings. This is a list of the top lost at sea horror movies featuring everything from Ghost Ship to Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis to Deep Rising.

What movies will you find on this list of the top ship horror films? Movie buffs will likely place Jaws right at the top. Though much of the film is set on the coast, one of Jaws' most famous lines – Roy Scheider saying, “We're gonna need a bigger boat” – was delivered while out at sea. Open Water is another terrifying movie featuring characters lost at sea. Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat is often considered one of the suspense master's most underrated films. Other movies featured on this roundup of the best horror movies set at sea include Cape Fear, Das Boot, and The Abyss.

Do you have a favorite scary movie set at sea? Give the best films a thumbs up and please add any great movies that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
Ghost Ship is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
3
The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
4
Open Water is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
5
Deep Rising is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
6
Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Cape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and ...more
7
Triangle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
8
Anaconda is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson
Anaconda is a 1997 adventure-horror film, directed by Luis Llosa, starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer and Jonathan Hyde. It centers on a film ...more
9
Leviathan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Peter Weller, Ernie Hudson, Daniel Stern
Leviathan is a 1989 science fiction horror film about a hideous creature and a group of people in a sealed environment, in a similar vein to such films as Alien and The Thing. It is one of many ...more
10
The Reef is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
11
DeepStar Six is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Nia Peeples, Miguel Ferrer, Cindy Pickett
DeepStar Six is an American science fiction horror film about the struggles of the crew of an underwater military outpost to defend their base against the attacks of a sea monster. It was ...more
12
Sphere is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
13
Below is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Zach Galifianakis, Olivia Williams, Scott Foley
Below is a 2002 WWII 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, Holt ...more
14
Virus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Sutherland, William Baldwin
Virus is a 1999 science fiction action thriller film directed by visual effects artist John Bruno. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland, the film is based on a Dark ...more
15
Mission of the Shark: The Saga... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
David Caruso, Stacy Keach, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis is a 1991 film directed by Robert Iscove.
16
The Rig is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
The Rig William Forsythe, Art LaFleur, Sarah Laine
17
Dagon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Francisco Rabal, Macarena Gómez, Ferran Lahoz
Dagon is a 2001 Spanish horror film directed by Stuart Gordon and written by Dennis Paoli. Despite the title, the plot is actually based on H. P. Lovecraft's novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth ...more
18
Mary is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Gary Oldman, Emily Mortimer, Owen Teague
Mary is a 2019 American horror film directed by Michael Goi. A family renovates a boat in hopes of starting a boat chartering business only find out that the boat is haunted.
19
Piranha 3D is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the 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
20
Lifeboat is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Tallulah Bankhead, Hume Cronyn, Heather Angel
This film is an American drama thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock from a story by John Steinbeck. The film stars Tallulah Bankhead with William Bendix. Also in the cast are Walter ...more
21
Ghostboat is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
David Jason, Crispin Bonham-Carter, Julian Wadham
Ghostboat is a 2006 British television film based on a novel by George E. Simpson and Neal R. Burger starring David Jason – a fantasy tale of His Majesty's Submarine Scorpion reappearing 38 ...more
22
Satan's Triangle is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Satan's Triangle Kim Novak, Doug McClure, Ed Lauter
Satan's Triangle is a 1975 TV movie set in the Bermuda Triangle and was produced by ABC. The plot involves a United States Coast Guard helicopter sent to answer a distress call from inside the ...more
23
The Ferryman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
John Rhys-Davies, Kerry Fox, Amber Sainsbury
The Ferryman is a New Zealand made film directed by Chris Graham and starring British actor John Rhys-Davies and New Zealand actress Amber Sainsbury, the film was released in the middle of 2007. ...more
24
The Haunted Sea is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
The Haunted Sea Krista Allen, James Brolin, Joanna Pacuła
25
Lost Voyage is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Ship Horror Movies Set on the Sea
Judd Nelson, Mark Sheppard, Lance Henriksen
Lost Voyage is a 2001 horror mystery film directed by Christian McIntire.