The first Lake Placid movie reminds me a lot of Joe Dante's 1978 movie Piranha. They're both unabashedly Jaws ripoffs, but they have sense enough to throw in some colorful characters and humor to offset all the people getting eaten. Having been made by a legit movie studio means that Lake Placid has some decent actors in it, including Betty White (kids love Betty White). The special effects from Stan Winston Studios hold up well considering they came about during the early CGI era. It's a better movie than the string of SyFy sequels would have you believe.
(Image from impawards.com)