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In this article, we are bringing you the best underwater sci-fi movies of all time. We hope that some of them you haven’t watched and that this article will help you to discover them.
Most of these underwater SF movies are also horror movies, but we also have a few surprise genres in our sleeves. Still, we are not surprised by that fact, because you know what they say, underwater no one can hear you scream!
In case you are looking for more SF movies, we have a big list of some of the best sci-fi movies you have never seen. So go and check it out also.
Well, without further ado, let’s dive in (pun intended).
Best Underwater Sci-fi Movies
A group of underwater researchers tries to get to safety after an earthquake destroys their underground laboratory. But the real danger is not the cruel sea, but something more deadly that the earthquake woke up.
In the depths of the sea, a group of explorers is confronted with something deadly … and hungry
DeepStar Six (1989)
Marine biologists are preparing the ground beneath the surface to house the rockets. Scarpelli (Nia Peeples) wants to investigate the underwater cliffs in more detail and informs Dr. Gelder (Marius Weyers) that the Navy should be informed of possible dangers. But Dr. Gelder does not want to be left without foundation and continues to destroy the underwater cave. After creating an opening in the cave, they decide to explore it with underwater sensors but soon lose them on the first scans. After they set off in search of the sensor, they were suddenly attacked by an enraged monster.
The Abyss (1989)
“The Abyss” is a movie with a pronounced metaphysical and even undisguised religious orientation, and in that sense, it is related to Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey“, with the endless ocean depths in it being the equivalent of an infinite universe. The film won an Oscar for Best Special Effects and was also nominated for Best Photography, Scenography and Sound. Excellent lead roles were played by Ed Harris (Journey into Space, Polock) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Color of Money, White Sand). It is without a doubt one of the best underwater sci-fi movies of all time.
In a way, it could be said that “The Abyss” is a kind of James Cameron’s response (The Terminator 1 and 2, Titanic) to the film “Predator” by the second most prominent Hollywood director of the period, John McTiernan. Both films take place in the middle of a natural element, McTiernan’s rainforest, Cameron’s sea or ocean, and both, as a key dramaturgical-semantic motif, bring an encounter with a superior alien being, which is fused with this natural element. While in McTiernan’s, the alien is aggressive and hostile, in Cameron’s he has the qualities of a supreme moral arbiter who affirms goodness and love as the highest values.
A team of scientists, consisting of psychologist Norman Goodman (Dustin Hoffman), biochemist Beth Halperin (Sharon Stone) and mathematician Harry Adams (Samuel L. Jackson), descend into the murky ocean depths to explore an ancient spacecraft at the bottom of the Pacific. On the seabed, they discover its mysterious cargo. They will come in contact with an alien assassin and their expedition will become deadly. Connections with the surface have been severed and the number of victims is growing, and desperate survivors now have to face the shocking truth underwater.
Dagon (Dagon: La Secta del Mar) is a 2001 Spanish horror movie directed by Stuart Gordon and written by Dennis Paoli. Despite the title, it is based on H. P. Lovecraft’s novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth rather than his earlier short story “Dagon” (1919). The movie takes place in “Imboca”, a Spanish adaptation of “Innsmouth”. Dagon marked the last role of Francisco Rabal who died two months before its release. The dedication, which appears before the end credits, reads: “Dedicated to Francisco Rabal, a wonderful actor and even better human being.”
A boating accident runs a young man and woman ashore in a decrepit Spanish fishing town which they discover is in the grips of an ancient sea god and its monstrous half-human offspring.
After rescuing three shipwrecked people, the submarine crew faces a series of strange events in this underwater sci-fi movie.
David Twohy’s film “Below” is a blend of parapsychological thriller, war drama and horror centered on the crew of an American submarine. Subtly creating an atmosphere of horror and generating tension in one of the most claustrophobic spaces in general, the director expertly uses elements of different genres to use each of them at the appropriate time. In this way, the film rarely loses its rhythm, while the performances of the cast are convincing and energetic enough.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
Although filmed almost half a century ago, “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” with its theme of the dangers of global warming is an extremely topical film. Producer and director Irwin Allen (1916-1991) became famous in the 1970s as the most successful producer of disaster films. His two films “Poseidon’s Adventure” (1972) and “Hell’s Tower” (1974) were at their time the most successful in their genre.
Admiral Harriman Nelson constructed a state-of-the-art nuclear submarine with a “glass nose” that allows a direct sea view. He sailed with that submarine to the North Pole for the first time. The captain is Lee Crane, whose wife Cathy Connors is Nelson’s secretary. The Admiral’s closest associate is the scientist Lucius Emery. There are also guests in the submarine: politicians and Dr. Susan Hiller, whom the admiral must convince that it really is a super submarine.
Suddenly they hear a sound like an explosion and notice large chunks of ice sinking. The submarine emerges, and the sky literally burns. They learn on television that the whole Earth is on fire because, for inexplicable reasons, the Van Allen radioactive belt surrounding the globe caught fire. Admiral and Lucius join the world’s scientists trying to save the world. If they want to hit the radioactive belt, they must sail to a distant point in the ocean from which to fire a missile.
If he does not reach that destination in sixteen days, he will no longer be able to reach the ideal angle for firing a rocket. On his own, he sets off with the submarine towards the goal.
Leviathan is a 1989 science fiction horror movie directed by George P. Cosmatos and written by David Webb Peoples and Jeb Stuart. It stars Peter Weller, Ernie Hudson, Richard Crenna and Daniel Stern as the crew of an underwater geological facility stalked and killed by a hideous mutant creature. Its creature effects were designed by Academy Award-winning special effects artist Stan Winston.
Leviathan was released around the same time as other, similarly themed underwater science fiction and horror movies, including The Abyss and DeepStar Six, and received negative reviews from critics, citing numerous similarities to films such as Alien and The Thing.
Perched on the hull of a wrecked Soviet freighter, a team of deep-sea miners led by head oceanographer Steven Beck comes face to face with a mutant creature that’s the product of a failed genetic experiment.
On the Somali coast, veteran divers Engel, Mitchell, Hurst and young Jones are given the task of repairing an oil pipeline at the bottom of the sea. Although a dangerous storm is approaching, they still set out to do the task. They manage to fix the pipe, but the storm sinks their ship and kills all the crew on it. With very little oxygen, the divers try to make contact with the surface, and leader Mitchell assures them that someone will save them. But will the oil company really send a new ship to save them or will they have to fight for their lives on their own?
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
The underwater sci-fi movie “Deep Blue Sea,” created as a legacy of the legendary “Jaws,” warns us of the danger of technological innovation. Far out at sea, in the great depths of the ocean, a group of scientists will find out in the hardest possible way how laws, social and natural alike, must not be violated at any cost, because otherwise there will be punishment. In this case, deadly!
A group of researchers and scientists are working on a remote submarine. They are on the verge of discovering a nerve stimulant that could successfully treat Alzheimer’s disease, made from shark brain extract. However, without informing the rest of the team, project leaders Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) and Jim Whitlock (Stellan Skarsgård) used illegal genetic manipulation techniques to enlarge the brains of the observed sharks to get spectacular results as soon as possible. During a major sea storm, during the celebration of the expedition’s success, the sharks try and eventually succeed to escape from their cages. It seems that they have achieved this by more intelligent grouping. To save their lives, scientists, led by hunter Carter Blake (Thomas Jane) and chef Preacher (LL Cool J), must reach the surface as soon as possible.
The Meg (2018)
When an international underwater center run by Chinese scientists is hit by an unknown danger, and a destroyed and disabled submarine stands at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, Dr. Zhang Suyin, the center’s leading oceanographer, enlists the help of a former naval captain and expert diver Jonas Taylor. Jonas then embarks on an adventure equal to suicide.
Deep Rising (1998)
The South China Sea. A speedboat with mercenaries and a terrifying cargo-nuclear warhead sails towards the ship “Argonautic.” At the same time, not far away, the luxury ship “Argonautic” sails innocently and becomes the target of an attack by a huge unknown predator. When the mercenaries arrive on the ship, they face several survivors who explain to them how giant mutant worms attacked them.
Captain Everton’s ship (Donald Sutherland) “Sea Star” is caught in a strong storm on the high seas. Due to the great damage to the ship, the captain sees the only salvation in entering the center of the storm where the sea is calmer and the weather is more bearable. There they find a Russian vessel with one crew member alive. The Russian ship is equipped with the latest technology, and the crew of the “Sea Star”, Kelly (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Steve (William Bladwin), soon realize that they are not alone and find out the truth about the fate of the rest of the Russian crew.
Virus is an exciting underwater sci-fi horror about an alien being who creates human tissue through the energy field and wants to inhabit the Earth, but before that exterminate the human species, directed by John Bruno, special effects consultant on “The Terminator 2”, which promises us an exceptional visual experience. Hollywood names: Jamie Lee Curtis and William Baldwin and theater legend Donald Sutherland, in a film that will provide fans of SF, horror, and action with equal pleasure.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
At the center of “Disney’s” exciting animated film, the naive but determined museum cartographer Milo Thatch dreams of completing the search begun by his late grandfather, a famous explorer. When a long-lost diary appears offering new clues about the location, and the eccentric billionaire agrees to fund the expedition, the plot shifts to a higher speed.
Milo eventually brings Captain Rourke and his team into the elusive underwater kingdom, but what he finds there defies their expectations and activates an explosive series of events that only Milo can solve.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
After making the Oscar-nominated film “The Royal Tenenbaums” in 2001, one of the most distinctive contemporary American directors, Wes Anderson (Rushmore), decided on a new film extravaganza for his screenplay with Owen Wilson. It is the film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” which, not only because of the dedication at the check-out rush, reminded many of the character and work of the famous French sea explorer and director Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his ship Calypso.
Oceanographer Steve Zissou (B. Murray) became famous for documentaries in which his research in the seas around the world was recorded in detail. However, his private life is far from successful. He has long been estranged from his wife Eleanor (A. Huston), is in a strained relationship with her ex-husband Alistair (J. Goldblum), and has just learned that he has an adult son, Ned Plimpton (O. Wilson).
After presenting his new film at the grand premiere, Steve decides to search for the dangerous jaguar shark that killed his longtime collaborator and friend. Along with Ned and Eleanor, the colorful team on the trip will be joined by journalist Jane (C. Blanchett), who reports on Steve’s career. Things will start to get complicated as soon as they set sail, and the crew will run into trouble, including pirates.