We have a cultural obsession with sharks. It’s actually inexplicable if you look at some statistics in 2012 there were 53 shark attacks in the US, none of them fatal. That same year there were only 7shark fatalities worldwide. Compared to an average of 19 people a year killed by dog attacks, you’d think we’d have more Cujo movies! Australia has reported an average of 1 shark fatality a year for the last 50 years. On the other hand, humans kill more than 100 million sharks a year-every year. Sharks are a vital part of our ecosystem and we have hunted them down to 20% of their past numbers. Economically, shark tourism is worth $78 million a year to the Bahamian economy. Whale shark tourism is a 48 million a dollar a year business.
And yet...we’re afraid to the very core of our humanity of sharks. That’s why movie makers will always bank on a shark movie. Is it their unpredictability? Is it their uncontrollability? Is it our entitlement at wanting to enjoy their environment and our anger at their audacity to attack US? They are a constant reminder that no matter what we think, we are NOT the top of the food chain.
Deep Blue Sea is a good example of how man’s tampering with science and nature leads to his own demise. It’s not enough that these things are deadly and scary, these scientists genetically alter them to be bigger and smarter all in the name of scientific research. Well, you know they say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Deep Blue Sea shows us just what a bloody, watery road that can be.
The literary term I’d like to use is Representative Character. Indeed, the three super sharks in this film are an unholy trinity that represent all our worst aquatic fears. They are flat and stereotypical, but not in a pejorative way. They have no lines. The swim and eat. But also in this film…they think. And that scares the bejesus out of me.
These sharks represent our fear of the unknown. They come at us from the darkness. They are strong. They are big. And oh, what big teeth they have…. So next time you’re sitting comfy in your den watching Shark Week on TV with your dog…just know that statistically…your dog is more likely to kill you! LOL