Jaws Film Review
By: Ashley Shepherd
Steven Spielberg directs the thriller of the year with the movie Jaws. Jaws takes a place in a small town on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. The Chief of police gets a call one morning about a dead girl beachside. He is in shock and disgusted at what he finds. Brody, played by Roy Scheider, gets confirmation from the autopsy that the cause of death of the teen girl was a shark attack. Brody goes on throughout the film trying to get the beaches to be closed, but the mayor will not allow it. The mayor continuously says how profitable the upcoming holiday, 4th of July, is and doesn’t seem to care about bodies showing up. The chief brings in the towns leaders and a few normal citizens to try to once again to get the beaches of the island closed so no more people get hurt or killed. The towns people and mayor get so heated that the beaches could potentially be closed for the holiday. The chief, a shark expert, and a local fisherman set out to find the shark that’s terrorizing the beaches and finally put an end to the horror.
Spielberg efficiently builds suspense of the sight of the shark by not revealing its entire body until roughly the last 30 minutes of the film. Throughout the rest of the film the sharks body is never actually seen. This builds the suspense for the viewer because we do not know exactly what we are looking for when there might be an attack. Another creative technique to keep the audience on the edge of their seats is whenever we know the shark is near, the camera widens the view, so that the screen is mostly water. This leaves the viewers eyes nervously wandering around the screen to find a fin sticking out of the ocean.
The suspense building begins as soon as the movie starts. The first scene of the movie shows a girl in her teens as she tries to lure her drunk friend, whom she hoped to get frisky with, into the ocean. Although, he being so drunk he ends up just lying in the sand right on the shore line. The girl continues to swim in the dark ocean, yelling at her friend to get in the water. The camera shifts many times during this beginning scene from showing the surface of the water including the head of the girl to just her body from below her in the water as she treads. What happens next will leave you terrified to enter the ocean, especially at night. The suspense builds from switching back and forth between these two camera angles. This scene also goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time leaving the viewer on their toes of when the teen will actually get attacked.
Sharks are real sea creatures. They end up on the morning news when they attack, or on a beach dead, there are even people who study these animals for a living. Spielberg takes this real life fear that is common amongst humans and exposes it to the world. He shows the true terror, blood, and helplessness of a shark attack.
Because of the constant nervousness and bloody scenes, this movie should only be seen by mature teens and adults. These individuals would very much enjoy this all around thriller/horror movie. It will make them jump with fear and then laugh about it right after. Go see Jaws for a memorable and horrifying time with friends! Trust me, you don’t want to see it alone.