Suddenly, the studio that produced the classic undersea animated musical "The Little Mermaid" and director Ron Howard's brilliant comedy fantasy "Splash" (starring Daryl Hannah as mermaid washed ashore and Tom Hanks as her potential suitor), saw the killer potential in what have traditionally have been portrayed as creatures of beauty. Instead, the mermaids in "On Stranger Tides" -- bearing fangs like vampires -- torpedo their prey like a hungry pack of bloodthirsty barracudas.
No. 1: Great white shark from "Jaws"
If any movie changed viewers' habits in the real world overnight, director Steven Spielberg's classic horror thriller "Jaws" was it. It didn't matter whether you swam in the ocean on the east or west coast, or in one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, after seeing "Jaws," you thought twice about going into the water.
Of course, this was all due to a great white shark, whom Spielberg and company affectionately dubbed "Bruce the Shark" behind the scenes. No matter how low-tech the manufactured shark looks today, when Bruce lunges out of the water, you still jump.
Just as scary, though, is the anticipation up to the shark attacks -- especially the classic opening scene where a sole female swimmer is nabbed from below.
Ratcheting up the tension is John Williams' classic score, which along with your pulse rate, picks up in speed as the shark draws nearer.