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Jaws: A Brilliant Horror Masterpiece

by Michael Piegza
(Michigan)

The film "Jaws" came out in 1975 based on a book by the same name authored by Peter Benchley. The film was directed by well known director Steven Spielberg. The movie was about an island beach community called Amity Island that has been frequented by great white shark attacks. It is centered around the beach island's police chief Martin Brody, a surly fisherman named Quint and a shark expert named Hooper. As the great white shark terrorizes the locals and the vacationing guests of the island, the attacks continue one by one and the trio makes it their task to go into the great blue sea and kill the feasting beast. This is a masterpiece of horror and is one of the most terrifying motion pictures in the history of cinema. One reason the movie is so terrifying is the fact that most of the gore scenes the shark is not shown on camera. The camera instead is of the point of view of the shark and accompanied by the famous da-dum music. The suspense builds as the shark picks his victims. In the beginning of the movie, nobody on the island is aware of the threat of the great white shark and the opening scene shows the gruesome death of a teenage girl flopping wildly while being tossed around in the mouth of the great white shark. In other scenes throughout the movie the suspense builds further as nobody knows who or when the shark will attack. The graphic and gruesome death scenes made without actually visually seeing the shark's body but only the shark fin approaching, make it even more scary. In the shark hunting sequences, it is made clear how large, powerful and dangerous the great white is. They tie rope to barrels which are floating drums and harpoon the shark to tire him out and get the shark from diving deeper in the water to eventually surface. As Hooper shoots the second and third barrels into the shark, he comments on the fact that no shark he's ever seen has not surfaced. The concluding scene is what the suspense has been building up to since the beginning of the movie. The shark emerges from the water and starts to destroy the boat. The shark is huge the scene when it devours Hooper is visually astonishing because this is the first time the audience sees the shark devouring a victim. In the conclusion of the film, when the shark is fed an air tank which gets blown up by sheriff Brody is one of the more disgusting scenes ever seen by audiences at the time. The preceding reasons are why the concept movie Jaws was so popular and why the film is one of the greatest horror masterpieces in the history of cinema.

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