05.29.12Martha Golea

Summer Entertainment Series: 5 Terrifying Water Movies

River Wild raft tipping

This summer is going to be a long, dry one for many of our readers, so here at ValleyCrest Takes On we’ve devised a way to keep water on your mind even when there’s none on your lawn: The Summer Entertainment Series. Follow along as your favorite bloggers share water-related movies, books,  tv and more, that will keep you educated and entertained all summer long.

I know my bio says I’m a “passionate water conservationist” but it should also say I am straight-up terrified of water in any measure larger than a bathtub and most of my nightmares are water-related.

Water is powerful! And heavy! And disorienting! And sound-muffling! It. Is. Scary. Who’s with me?

Movies about water give me panic attacks so I try to avoid them at all costs, but sometimes I get stuck watching them anyway. (Peer pressure!) To help my fellow aquaphobics know which films you need to stay far far away from, here’s my list of 5 movies to avoid like the deep end of the pool:

Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure  Forget The Ring or Saw, this is the scariest movie I have ever seen. It’s a giant-screen film (like IMAX) so it’s about 2 hours and 200 square feet of larger-than-life hurricanes, waves, capsizing canoes, and trekking across a previously unexplored icy continent. Traumatic. Forget 3-D glasses, this movie is so realistic there should be lifeguards stationed in the theater in case people need CPR.

Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken  A girl who trains to perform in a horse-and-rider high dive act in Atlantic City has all her dreams come true only to get in a terrible accident during said diving act and lose her sight. Horses, high dives…what’s next?! If someone makes a movie about a character who delivers speeches while being chased by snakes and eventually gets amnesia, it would be right on par with this nightmarish fiasco.

Titanic  You knew that was coming, didn’t you? The ship sinks, there’s a lot of swimming in heavy clothing and drowning in the frigid Atlantic, they even go so far as to show footage of the underwater wreckage. This year is the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, so the movie or some documentary is playing every time I turn on the TV. Obviously I am boycotting TV for the rest of 2012.

The River Wild  A family white water rafting vacation gets hijacked by some inexperienced rafters who -oh yeah!- just happen to be armed robbers who hold the family hostage and don’t plan to let them get away. I bet there was some warm, fuzzy moral to this story but I’m afraid it went overboard in those Class 5’s. Maybe the family that navigates rapids at gun-point together, stays together? That sounds about right.

Jaws What would a list of scary water movies be without Jaws? To be honest, I’ve never seen it, but people who love the ocean are scared of Jaws so I know better. Something about a giant, unstoppable shark eating everything in its path, right? The tagline for the film is “You’ll never go in the water again!”, which, for most people is a stretch, but if you’re afraid to begin with you don’t need one more excuse to stay on dry land.

I know there are tons more water movies out there that would fuel my nightmares, but luckily I haven’t seen most of them. Would you be a dear and list them in the comments so my fellow water-fearers and I know which films to avoid? Thanks, you’re a lifesaver! You can also share them with me on Twitter at @MarGoH2O.

Martha Golea

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Martha Golea

A seasoned communicator and passionate water conservationist, Martha Golea tracks projects in progress and reports on usage of new and exploratory irrigation technology and water management strategies. Martha also regularly contributes content on water management and conservation to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.




  1. Tuesday, 9:36 Dave Hedrick

    Although most critics thought Kevin Costner’s “Waterworld” was frightful, I loved it!

  2. Tuesday, 10:17 Martha Golea

    Thanks, Dave! I will definitely put Waterworld on the “do not watch” list.

  3. Wednesday, 7:50 Mark Hopkins

    Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water blog……Thanks Martha

  4. Thursday, 7:18 Alan Harris

    Wonderfully done…I might just have to take the bait and join the water movie crusade. Can you say Deliverance? Squeal, squeal, squeal…

  5. Thursday, 9:40 Martha Golea

    Mark, your comment cracks me up. We have lots of lifeguards on the blog, so it’s always safe here!
    Alan, I’ve heard stories about Deliverance and I’m definitely NEVER watching it. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Thursday, 10:44 Richard Restuccia

    Martha, great post! What about Fantasia The Sorcerer’s Apprentice? The buckets of water and brooms try to drown Mickey! This is suppose to be a kids movie?

  7. Thursday, 10:48 Jea

    Only because I just endured Pirates of the Carribean 1 through 10 (seemed like ten movies) with my teenager – I remember there was water and ships and plenty of people who need to use the water. Why don’t pirates bathe?
    The Perfect Storm – another “stay out of the water” movie.
    The 10 Commandments – the scene where Moses/God parts the Red Sea was incredible. I took a tour of Paramount Studios and they told us how it was done. Very cool.

  8. Thursday, 2:46 Martha Golea

    You guys are killing me!
    Richard, Fantasia was the bain of my elementary school existence. I’m pretty sure we watched it every year and I always read a book during the scene with the mops.
    Jeavonna, thanks for chiming in! I think pirates don’t bathe because there are no ladies around to make them. Right? It would be amazing to see how movie magic was made back in the days of the 10 Commandments (the movie, not the actual event). It’s really cool that you got to experience that.

  9. Sunday, 9:26 Eric Romero

    Like Dave mentioned, Water World has to be in there. Not Kevin’s best performance, but worthy of a summer water movie. For those with kids, I have to add, “Finding Nemo”.

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