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The 10 Best Boating Horror Films to Watch this Halloween!

3 minutes read
02 Oct, 2023
News & Advice
By Bryony Edwards

The 10 Best Boating Horror Films to Watch this Halloween!

Boat and ship settings have long been a haunting backdrop for horror films, stirring up fear and suspense on the open sea. So, this October, we run through the top 10 boating horror themed films, from maritime mysteries to bloodthirsty predators, these movies are sure to send shivers down your spine. For the full sensory effect, why not watch one of these harrowing horrors snuggled up with some popcorn aboard your very own boat - we don't recommend doing this alone! For each of these great film recommendations, we'll be providing a brief overview of their narratives, key film stars, and a standout moment from each - but we will be putting the spoilers in white font so you can avoid them if you want to! If you want to view the potential spoiler just highlight the text by selecting it on your device.
  1. "Ghost Ship" (2002)

    • Overview: Directed by Steve Beck, "Ghost Ship" follows a salvage crew that discovers an abandoned ocean liner, only to face terrifying secrets from its past.
    • Key Film Stars: Julianna Margulies, Gabriel Byrne, and Ron Eldard.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The opening scene's grisly and unexpected twist sets the eerie tone for the rest of the film.
  2. "Triangle" (2009)

    • Overview: Directed by Christopher Smith, "Triangle" revolves around a group of friends who find themselves trapped in a loop of terror while sailing in the Atlantic.
    • Key Film Stars: Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth, and Michael Dorman.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The mind-bending plot and cleverly interwoven timelines keep viewers on the edge of their seats throughout the film.
  3. "Jaws" (1975)

    • Overview: Directed by Steven Spielberg, "Jaws" is a classic thriller depicting a small island community terrorized by a giant man-eating great white shark.
    • Key Film Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The iconic "beach scene" where the shark attacks, showcasing the film's masterful suspense-building techniques.
  4. "Deep Rising" (1998)

    • Overview: Directed by Stephen Sommers, "Deep Rising" delves into the horrifying ordeal of a group of mercenaries facing a monstrous sea creature while attempting to rob a luxurious cruise ship.
    • Key Film Stars: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, and Anthony Heald.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The first encounter with the horrifying sea creature leaves the audience breathless and sets the tone for the intense action to come.
  5. "Death Ship" (1980)

    • Overview: Directed by Alvin Rakoff, "Death Ship" unfolds the harrowing story of passengers who become trapped on a possessed, evil Nazi ghost ship.
    • Key Film Stars: George Kennedy, Richard Crenna, and Nick Mancuso.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The eerie revelation of the ship's malevolent nature is a chilling highlight of the film.
  6. "Open Water" (2003)

    • Overview: Directed by Chris Kentis, "Open Water" follows a couple left stranded in the middle of the ocean during a scuba diving trip, battling both the elements and their own fears.
    • Key Film Stars: Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The intense and realistic portrayal of their struggle for survival amidst the vast and unforgiving ocean.
  7. "Leviathan" (1989)

    • Overview: Directed by George P. Cosmatos, "Leviathan" uncovers the horrors that unfold as a deep-sea mining crew encounters a mysterious and deadly genetic anomaly.
    • Key Film Stars: Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, and Amanda Pays.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The intense underwater showdown with the mutated creature is a nail-biting moment of terror.
  8. "The Abyss" (1989)

    • Overview: Directed by James Cameron, "The Abyss" plunges into the depths of the ocean, revealing a compelling tale of deep-sea exploration and encountering enigmatic extraterrestrial beings.
    • Key Film Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The breathtaking underwater sequences and encounters with the otherworldly creatures are awe-inspiring and visually stunning.
  9. "Harbinger Down" (2015)

    • Overview: Directed by Alec Gillis, "Harbinger Down" recounts the terrifying story of a group of scientists and crew members who battle a deadly organism unleashed from the depths of the Arctic.
    • Key Film Stars: Lance Henriksen, Camille Balsamo, and Matt Winston.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The intense struggle to survive and the creature's relentless pursuit create heart-pounding suspense.
  10. "Below" (2002)

    • Overview: Directed by David Twohy, "Below" weaves a supernatural tale set on a World War II submarine, where the crew faces unexplained phenomena and eerie occurrences.
    • Key Film Stars: Bruce Greenwood, Olivia Williams, and Matt Davis.
    • Best Bit (highlight to reveal!): The suspenseful exploration of the submarine and the crew's increasing paranoia make for a gripping cinematic experience.
Whilst these are the some of the best boat based horror films available to watch, and so maybe narratively speaking don't have much bearing in reality.... with 30 years experience in the boating industry, Burton Waters have seen a fair few mini horrors ourselves, from accidentally filling up with the wrong fuel and getting stranded to someone actually sinking their boat! Want to avoid accidentally starring in your very own boat based horror? Why not book in for a servicing and maintenance check with our experienced boat maintenance team today!

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