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Horror Retrospective: The one that scared generations from going in water... JAWS


Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Stars- Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Lorraine Gray, and Murray Hamilton

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Rent


Forty Six years later, and it still stands that Jaws very well could be the greatest movie of Steven Spielbergs career. The perfect blend of everything that a movie that wants to scare its audience should be- charming, relatable, bringing you into the human characters and their day to day life, all the while building suspense with the sole aim of scaring both our protagonists and the ones sitting in theatres, and at homes globally. One could only imagine being someone that got to see this movie when it hit theatres in 1975, being able to witness first hand something that not only changed filmmaking as a whole, but shifted the view on an entire aquatic species (whether that was for good or bad is a different discussion) forever. Spielberg is able to bring out so much on humanity and that's what makes this movie so scary, having those people who are seemingly innocent and just ordinary humans such as the ones viewing from home being terrorized by this unseen presence.


Between John Williams iconic score, one that I could easily argue was the best of the legendary composers illustrious career, and the unseen terror below the depths. Spielberg is able to accomplish what so many others before and long after Jaws, have failed to do. Being able to craft a story around a villain, an aquatic boogeyman, so scary and so powerful that he can eat a child with a single bite- all the while holding the audience from witnessing the beast for a large portion of the movie. Making us use our own imagination to picture the size, and stature of the Great White before we finally get the unveiling. Using dialogue, and fear to build up suspense makes the reveal so much more rewarding.


The characters are all so strong- our three leads, Chief Martin Brody (Scheider), the Shark loving Matt Hooper (Dreyfuss), and the slightly deranged and old school minded Quint (Shaw), they're all such strong characters that you can't help but root for throughout their own objectives to finding the Shark. All three are some of the best performances that i've seen, and they all work so well together on screen whether that be working together or arguing. Murray Hamilton was also incredible as the sleazy Mayor Larry Vaughn, that was more concerned about his own PR, as well as the town of Amity making a dollar during the tourism months. He's so good as a slime ball that puts off helping Brody and Hooper solve the issue, and very much like modern politicians through the pandemic. With his "Best Summer Ever" mentality.


Overall, Jaws has aged perfectly and remains one of the best horror movies of all time- albeit if counting it as a horror movie is unconventional. 93%



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