Scuba Diving

The 5 Best Scuba Diving Films of All Time

Whether you’re interested in sci-fi, horror, or survival thrillers, there’s something for everyone on our top scuba diving films list! From alien spaceships being explored at the bottom of the ocean, to cave diving expeditions gone wrong, there’s a lot of scuba diving action to be found in film, and these are some of the best…

The Deep (1977)

Based on the 1976 novel by Peter Benchley (the author of Jaws,) which the film takes its title from, this gripping 70’s adventure film and successor to Jaws, may not live up to its predecessor in notoriety or cult status but is still highly enjoyable. Starring Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Nolte, this diving adventure film focuses around their characters, a loved-up couple, holidaying in Bermuda. This couple come across a number of unusual artifacts when scuba diving around the area’s shipwrecks, and after investigating their finds further, they end up attracting unwanted attention and searching for some long-lost treasure.

Expect some fantastic wreck diving scenes, a lot of suspense and more action than you would ever expect from a couple’s holiday… from a car (and bicycle) chase, to being chased by the creatures of the deep, this diving movie that seemed like the average ‘romantic vacation goes wrong’ type film, keeps you on the edge of your seat.

47 Metres Down (2017)

This popular survival thriller diving film sees two sisters, played by Mandy Moore and Claire Holt, take to the waters off the coast of Mexico on a seemingly questionable cage-diving trip… and when Moore’s character, Lisa, lies about her diving proficiency, we know things are bound to go south. Things go bad pretty quickly for these two divers, as the unchecked (and already fraying) cable attaching the diving cage to the boat finally snaps, the women are dragged… 47 metres down.

This horrifying thriller features a great performance from Moore, as she gets herself into and out of a number of nightmarish situations involving sharks, decompression sickness and running out of oxygen. If you want to watch your worst diving fears played out in front of your eyes then 47 Metres Down is the scuba survival flick you’ve been waiting for!

Sphere (1998)

Okay, so not your standard diving film… this big-budget sci-fi thriller stars the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharon Stone and centres around the discovery of an alien spacecraft, at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. An already interesting premise with a team of Hollywood A-listers at the helm, this film dreams big and though it remains well-liked by audiences, it didn’t fare well with critics.

Head down to the floor of the Pacific with this well-picked team of Hollywood’s finest to discover alien intelligence in a 300 year old alien wreck… and expect some suspenseful diving investigation work and fantastic one-liners from all the cast, along the way. From Academy Award winning director, Barry Levinson, best known for Rain Man (also starring Hoffman,) this film has the potential (on paper) to be a great film, and is for the most part, greatly entertaining.

Sanctum (2011)

A gripping survival thriller combining caving and cave diving, Sanctum is loosely based on a real-life near-fatal cave diving expedition, that the film’s co-writer and cave diving lover, Andrew Wight led, in Australia in 1988. With Academy Award winning director James Cameron (best known for Titanic and Avatar) as this film’s executive producer, it’s no wonder that this film – also released in cinemas in 3D, has stunning underwater visuals.

Set in the as-yet partially unexplored cave system of Esa’ala, in Papua New Guinea, this cave diving adventure movie follows a small group of cave divers, including 17 year old Josh and his father Frank, who is leading the expedition. We watch as they prepare to head deeper into the cave, to an as yet unexplored part of this real-life cave system’s unknown depths, and watch as the team has to survive against all odds, as everything that could go wrong, does. Expect incredible visuals and tense and often shocking action.

47 Metres Down: Uncaged (2019)

This second installment of the 47 Metres Down franchise, from acclaimed British horror director, Johannes Roberts, differs greatly from the original 47 Metres Down, with the main difference being that this follow-up film features cave diving, as opposed to cage diving. This film follows four teenage girls, including step-sisters Mia and Sasha, who instead of going on the shark-watching boat trip that Mia’s father has bought them tickets for, decide to do some cave diving, with little diving experience between them, which we know won’t end well…

47 Metres Down: Uncaged, sees this group of girls spontaneously decide to explore the submerged Mayan city which Mia’s father is working on unearthing. Featuring everything you could possibly hope would not happen on a cave dive, including crumbling ruins, near empty oxygen tanks and cave-evolved sharks, this movie is gripping from start to finish. Though this movie was rather light on the history side – to say that the plot centres around cave diving in a submerged Mayan city… overall this is a 90 minute diving horror masterpiece, which will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.


Top Photo Credit: Pascal van de Vendel