Quick recap: killer shark. (I think that might be my quickest recap yet!)
Fun (?) fact: Like most movie blockbusters, there are a million facts to dig through. My favorite fact is that originally the movie had a different director. During a meeting with the producers, the director referred to the shark as a whale and was promptly fired. First rule of movie making: know the differences between basic sea animals.
My thoughts: I’ve never understood the appeal of Jaws. I watched the movie as a kid when I was in a horror movie phase and it didn’t scare me at all. In fact, even as an 8 or 9 year old I saw the whole thing as cheesy. Sharks, especially the Great White, are actually cautious fish and don’t go out of their way to murder people. I think Jaws underwhelmed me mostly because it is a situation specific film. Afraid of sharks? Don’t get in the ocean. Problem solved. And as I grew up, I wore my love of the ocean as a badge of honor. While everyone bemoaned their silly shark attack fears, I bravely went into the waters and swam to my heart’s content. I may be afraid of a number of things but a shark ain’t one of them.
After watching Jaws in the theater the other night, I finally realized the main reason it had never scared me as a kid: I’ve never seen it before. All this time what I had remembered watching was actually Jaws II or III, which are decidedly more campy and awful films. The movie I watched as an adult is horrifying. Seriously horrifying, and not the kind where you say you are scared because that’s what everyone says. Legit horrifying. I even had NIGHTMARES about the shark that night. which is a pretty rare feat these days. My idea earlier that this is a situation specific film isn’t even true now that I’ve seen the actual thing. Jaws is scary not because of the killer shark because once you get a look at him, it’s just a big fish. The scariest scenes are the people in the water unable to see what is about to happen to them.
Jaws is the perfect mix of funny, drama and horror. It was like a roller coaster of emotions, sitting through the movie. I totally screamed when Ben Gardner’s decapitated head surfaced in his boat. Legit terror, I’m telling you. Also, Alex Kintner’s death was as realistic as you can get in a killer shark movie and the scene where the mother discovers that her son didn’t get out of the water was really hard to watch.
Final review: 5/5. Completely deserves all your love and adoration so carry on.
Up next: The Thief of Bagdad