To call JAWS a classic film is an understatement. It is the yard stick against which every modern monster movie is measured. To this day, the film still draws crowds, drives Narragansett beers sales, and terrorizes skittish beach goers wherever a shoreline is visible. What is it about JAWS that is so alluring? What gives this film the ability to scare audiences as easily today as it did 38 years ago? It certainly isn’t the riveting dialogue, or advanced special effects. Rather than these, it is the film’s cinematography and camera work which make the shark attacks feel personal–a sensation that defies generations.
Jaws – 1975 – dir. Steven Spielberg
No critique by an amateur film critic could ever refute the monumental experience that is Jaws. It’s possible to examine the socio-political themes in Amity Island, the class struggles between characters, and the great battle of man versus nature; but to unveil a hidden flaw, an imperfect note in this film, is impossible. The film is good. So good in fact, most fans can probably recall their first time witnessing it, that experience of hiding behind their hands from an unseen monster. It’s cinema’s Moby Dick and once again, in the chaotic world outside the theater, we can again bear witness to life imitating art.