I am going to state bluntly that I loathe that shark horror makes people afraid of actual sharks. I adore sharks. I was that kid obsessed with marine biology, and a lot of it was focused on sharks. For the brief time I was in school for marine biology, my intent was to work with sharks. If you watch a horror movie, know that it is fake, and sharks aren’t what they are often portrayed as.
That being said, sharks are badass and kind of scary, so they are perfect for horror. I digress. Deep Blue Sea is the 1999 horror film that follows a group experimenting with sharks in an underwater facility, which gets flooded. As a side effect of their experiments, the sharks have gotten smarter and begin to hunt the humans. It is an alright horror movie but super fun creature feature/aquatic horror.
The characters are serviceable, if not people we’ve seen before. The nerdy guy, who is friends with the tough shark wrangler with a checkered past. The doctor willing to do anything for their experiment. The weak link girl (sigh). Most of these characters we’ve seen before, and that’s fine as long as they are well done, which they are. LL Cool J is definitely a highlight in this movie as the chef and sort of spiritual guide.
The movie has not aged perfectly. Some of what the sharks do is a little ridiculous, even if they are smarter. The CGI, while necessary, looks a bit eh at moments. What has aged well is how fun the movie is. It is fast-paced without being so much so that it feels like a straight action movie. It has so some surprising kills and managed to get enough suspense (although really light). It is also a creature feature without doing the whole “so bad it’s good” thing.
Post-Deep Blue Sea, we got many years of creature features being largely SyFy originals, which, while fun, was a bit annoying how much the subgenre got overtaken by them. While Deep Blue Sea does have a few moments, it is decidedly not a B movie.
I am glad I revisited this as it had been a while, and I always enjoy it when I do. Even the parts of it that haven’t aged well are part of its charm and part of my nostalgia.