Bogs, Beavers and Blood: Freshwater Ecosystems in Film

The freshwater world is full of horror movie potential, and yet most of the time it’s the ocean that is the centrepiece of aquatic horror stories. It’s not entirely unexpected, after all the ocean makes up over 97% of the earth’s water-based surface, and freshwater doesn’t have much to offer in the way of an ‘abyss’.

Yet there is a plethora of potential in freshwater ecosystems, and some of it has indeed been explored by various filmmakers. That’s why I set out to explore freshwater horror in the most recent episode of our podcast, Cinematica Animalia. Dave, Libby and I talked the aspects of freshwater that make for a decent horror flick, which creatures have monster movie potential, and how threats that aquatic ecosystems are facing on an increasing scale (like invasive species and eutrophication) play into the horror genre.

As usual, if you enjoy the episode, let your friends know about the podcast, and give it an in-app rating! You can check out more episodes on SoundCloud and any decent podcast app.


Dr. Sam Perrin is a freshwater ecologist who completed his PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and is working up the courage to one day watch Zombeavers. You can read more about his research and the rest of the Ecology for the Masses writers here, see more of his work at Ecology for the Masses here, or follow him on Twitter here.

Title Image Credit: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002

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