Octopus

★★☆☆ – (2000) – A submarine crew falls under attack from a giant octopus. Does an okay job handling some of the horror mayhem, but fails in a big way when dealing with the dramatics of military meatheads. A poor man’s Deep Rising, but manages to overcome some of its many shortcomings.

Kong: Skull Island

★★½☆ – (2017) – A military guided expedition to an unclaimed island leads to the discovery of a massive ape. Gets off to a rip-roaring start, but after the first major action sequence, the pace takes a serious hit. Separate parties wander toward a rendezvous point amid sporadic creature battles, yet only one character has a background while others go missing for long stretches. The human scope is empty, but the mystique of Kong is top notch.

Up from the Depths

★★☆☆ – (1979) – A monstrous fish is on the prowl near a vacation resort, to the dismay of the resort’s owner. Best when moving fast and showing camaraderie among colorful characters, but too many slow areas bog down the fun. Gloriously goofy at times, with some okay gore and decent female eye candy.

The Shallows

★☆☆☆ – (2016) – A young woman travels to a specific vacation spot to surf and recollect, and becomes stranded on a reef by sharks. Yet another water feature that might pretend it’s on par with Jaws, but has no such credibility as it’s more akin to the atrocious Open Water. A drab showcase of a prolonged victim who suddenly rises against an improbable occasion.