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Movies You Shouldn’t Watch If You Have Thalassophobia

Updated August 26, 2019 4k votes 769 voters 43.4k views15 items

List RulesVote up the films that trigger your thalassophobia the most.

Thalassophobia, like many other phobias, is a response to a particular stimulus. Unlike aquaphobia, a general fear of water, thalassophobia deals specifically with the unknown possibilities associated with the open sea. Thalassophobia can include fear of waves and large bodies of water. As with many other phobias, there are plenty of movies that can cause discomfort to those who have thalassophobia. Some are pretty obvious; others are perhaps a little less so. 

The following still images from sea-themed films shouldn't be overly triggering for those who have this specific phobia; however, sitting through a two-hour deep-sea adventure might cause someone to spiral. The ocean is vast and filled with mystery - these films only address a small portion of what lies beneath the surface. 

  • Photo: Lionsgate

    Open Water might manage to trigger thalassophobia with its title alone. The film is based on the real-life account of two scuba divers who are left behind to fend for themselves when their dive boat fails to take an accurate headcount. Basically, Open Water is the worst film imaginable for thalassophobes.

    On top of the film's true-life inspiration and the aforementioned open water, the creators filmed with real sharks. 

    • Actors: Saul Stein, Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Estelle Lau, Michael E. Williamson
    • Released: 2003
    • Directed by: Chris Kentis
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  • While the surface of the ocean is terrifying, what's underneath can be much worse. The movie 47 Meters Down (2017) utilizes the same premise as other aquatic horror films, but it does them one better by stranding its two actresses not just in the ocean with sharks - but beneath it. 

    When two sisters vacation in Mexico, they're talked into cage diving to see sharks up close. Of course, something inevitably goes wrong, and the cage ends up sinking to the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by sharks. 

    • Actors: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Chris J. Johnson, Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura
    • Released: 2017
    • Directed by: Johannes Roberts
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  • While sailing to Indonesia, a group of friends capsize their boat and try to swim to a nearby island. Unfortunately, the water is also inhabited by a great white shark. This harrowing Australian survival film - the second from writer-director Andrew Traucki - is based on a true story

    The real-life origins of this open-ocean horror story are sure to make it even more terrifying for thalassophobes.

    • Actors: Zoe Naylor, Adrienne Pickering, Gyton Grantley, Damian Walshe-Howling, Kieran Darcy-Smith
    • Released: 2010
    • Directed by: Andrew Traucki
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  • An isolated underwater research facility is the setting for this 1999 sci-fi horror flick about genetically engineered sharks who, of course, attack the flooded facility during a storm at sea. Directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2Cliffhanger), Deep Blue Sea is as much an action movie as it is a horror flick.

    There's enough open water, flooding chambers, and, of course, sudden shark attacks to make just about anyone squirm at least a bit.

    • Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Stellan Skarsgård
    • Released: 1999
    • Directed by: Renny Harlin
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