Between the recent VOD release of Sea Fever, Robert Eggers’ sophomore feature The Lighthouse hitting Prime Video on the 16th, and Underwater arriving on Blu-ray on the 14th, it only seems fitting to declare this Aquatic Horror Week. Like those new releases, this week’s streaming picks stretch the imagination of what’s lurking in the depths of the sea. Bizarre and fantastical monsters that defy natural biology, from Lovecraftian deities to man-made beasts.
These five nautical nightmares and underwater creature features reinforce the idea that the ocean can be a rather inhospitable place, especially for humans outside of their element.
All are available to stream right now…
Dagon – Tubi
Loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft stories “Dagon” and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” this Stuart Gordon film induces ichthyophobia. While on a boating trip, Paul Marsh (Ezra Godden) and his girlfriend Barbara (Raquel Merono) are shipwrecked by a sudden storm. They make their way to a nearby fishing village for aid, but find the residents inhospitable and not so human. These half-fish humans worship a monstrous sea god, Dagon, and intend to use their unwanted guests as sacrifices. Eerie, slimy, atmospheric, a little sleazy, and with a whole lot of gory creature work.
The Host – Hulu
Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, Parasite) is a master of blending genres and tone, and his epic creature feature offers a perfect example. Deftly wrapping up the family drama, dysfunctional humor, and political satire in one thrilling creature feature bow, the plot sees a monster from Seoul’s Han River wreak havoc. When a young girl is snatched up by the beast, the girl’s family bands together to get her back by any means necessary. This big-budget spectacle will make you laugh one minute and cry the next.
The Fog – Shudder
A coastal town approaching their centennial celebration instead find themselves combating mysterious evil brought in by an unnatural, dense fog. Evil in the form of vengeful ghosts of shipwrecked leprous sailors from a century ago. John Carpenter gives a classic ghost story a nautical makeover, with his own sense of style. The Fog boasts an all-star cast of horror stalwarts, from Jamie Lee Curtis to Tom Atkins, but it’s Adrienne Barbeau’s radio DJ Stevie Wayne that steals the film.
Shock Waves – Prime Video
A strange weather anomaly and a ship that appears out of nowhere leave a yachting party shipwrecked on a remote island. One that happens to be inhabited by a reclusive Nazi scientist that’s created Nazi super-soldier zombies. Zombies that have an affinity for water. Cue the tourists getting stalked and slain all over the island and the surrounding water. From director Ken Wiederhorn (Return of the Living Dead Part II), Shock Waves stars Peter Cushing, Brooke Adams, and John Carradine.
Leviathan – Prime Video
Deep-sea miners stumble upon a Soviet shipwreck, and the cargo they bring back to base unleashes a genetic mutation that threatens to destroy them all, one by one. With a hurricane pummeling the surface, these blue-collar workers are entirely trapped and abandoned by the corporation that employs them. It’s very much an Alien film set underwater, but oh so much fun. Leviathan stars Peter Weller, Amanda Pays, Richard Crenna, Daniel Stern, Ernie Hudson, Meg Foster, and Hector Elizondo. Above all, the film offers fantastic creature design and gnarly body horror.