Why Netflix’s ‘Under Paris’ Is The Best Shark Movie Since ‘Jaws’

Netflix’s new shark movie Under Paris seems ready-made to piss off incels. It’s a metaphor for climate change, it’s French, and it features a blue-haired queer woman who would never sleep with them. Also, if you assume that all the people who leave Audience Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are incels, then Under Paris has done its job. Many frustrated reviewers have tanked Under Paris’s Audience Score, no doubt because it doesn’t feature Jason Statham staring into the mid-distance and saying, “Something’s fishy about this” before punching a shark in the face.


That’s not to say Under Paris is a work of art. Like a true B-movie creature feature, it often demands momentary stupidity of its characters in order to hack their limbs off. However, it does absurdly star Oscar nominee Bérénice Bejo, who sells re-lived trauma so effectively that you’ll feel it yourself. That said, she’s not the only reason that Under Paris is the best gory shark movie since Jaws. Here are seven more reasons. WARNING = *SPOILERS AHEAD*

1. The sadistic Gen Z mass murderer

The aforementioned blue-haired queer woman is not just a Gen X stereotype of what a Gen Z person is (cynical, tech-savvy, gay). She is also a likely psychopath who would rather wipe out half the world’s population than watch a shark get harpooned in the eye. She doesn’t explicitly say that she’s a vegan who blogs on a freelance basis for PETA, but you know it’s true. She’s equal parts sympathetic and an a$#hole. 

2. The Shark Movie Mayor™

In perhaps its biggest nod to Jaws, Under Paris features a Mayor Who Doesn’t Care if you Die. I’ve checked to see if the real-life Parisian mayor, Anne Hidalgo, is like this, and thankfully she’s not. Hidalgo is a climate warrior who’s more intent on making Paris a car-less city than ignoring toothy existential threats. This places her in direct contrast with the mayor of Under Paris, who overlooks the enormous shark terrorizing her city and then acts shocked when it devours an entire triathlon. 

3. The unintentional Little Mermaid reference

There’s a shot in the movie where the Heroes investigate a sunken vessel in the Seine, only to balk when a massive, shadowy figure (the shark) looms from the dark behind them. Now, if the shark were also smiling with evil glee, then the whole sequence would be a remake of that Ariel and Flounder scene at the beginning of The Little Mermaid when they’re collecting thingamabobs. 

4. The made-for-3D Shamu moments

There are not one but two times in this movie where an enormous shark suddenly erupts from the water with a person in their mouth and then eats them, like an evil Shamu. In both instances, the shark and dead person are launched directly at the camera and thus your bloodshot eyes (assuming you watch this stoned at 3AM). A 3D version of this movie could make bank in theaters.

5. The impossibly beautiful River Policeman

Starring opposite Bérénice Bejo is the French-Algerian actor Nassim Lyes, and let me tell you, his ass does not Lyes. Every time his honey-colored eyes light up the screen, you will wonder how his character became a river policeman. (That’s an actual job title in Paris.) Basically, his entire job is to make sure miscreants don’t illegally kayak in the Seine at 5AM, but you just know he would make a killing on OnlyFans.

6. The genuine inventiveness


The pseudoscience of this movie rivals that of 2009’s Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus, and that’s a movie in which a shark jumps 32,000 feet out of the ocean to eat an airplane. That said, the creativity of Under Paris is evident in its set pieces. It makes great use of Paris’s most deadly secrets, including a set of literal ticking time bombs that are introduced at the very beginning of the movie. There’s also a horrifying sequence set in the deepest region of Paris’s Catacombs that uses every inch of its environment to conjure a literal bloodbath.

7. The incredible ending

I’ve spoiled a lot today, but I still won’t spoil the ending. It must be seen to be believed. It’s so bold and unhinged and ultimately bleak that it might even make you laugh. Unless you’re the type to leave Audience Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, in which case you’ve already given this movie one star and cried yourself to sleep today.

About the author

Evan E. Lambert

Evan E. Lambert is a journalist, travel writer, and short fiction writer with bylines at Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Going, Mic, The Discoverer, Queerty, and many more. He splits his time between the U.S. and Peru and speaks fluent Spanglish.