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Jaws essay

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Jaws Essay: An analysis of the suspense techniques used in the film and the effects that they had upon the audience. Lay back and imagine, you are on a beach; the sun currents lightly burn you skin. You are in captivating and enchanting surrounding like laughter from young and old. You go into the calming blue ocean, in the thought that you are going to have a pleasant and moderate swim. But could there be a huge blood-hungry shark in the water? Could it have heard the vibrations of your movement and is now coming to consume you? This was indeed what happened in the film 'Jaws'. In this essay, I will be examining the suspense techniques used in the film and the intended effect upon the audience - what makes Jaws scary? The unique film Jaws was made in the year 1975and directed by Steven Spielberg, who was only twenty seven at the time. The film is based upon Peter Benchley's No1 bestseller and he also wrote the screenplay. Jaws broke all box office records to become the biggest box office hit of it's time. It grossed an amazing sum of $260.000.000. The two scenes I am going to focus on from the film are the opening scene where Chrissie is attacked and the following scene where Alex is attacked. ...read more.


At the end of the scene we are given a panoramic shot of the beach. All we hear is the sound of waves, and young people talking. I think that the director does this because he wants to end the scene the way he started it, suggesting nothing has happened. This has the effect of making us feel more relaxed. I think that this opening scene is particularly good in building suspense because he uses different types of techniques such as awkward silences and blindness. I now plan to the suspense techniques that Steven Spielberg uses in the scene where a little boy called Alex is seized by the shark. At the start of the scene the camera moves between shots of Chief Brody and the beach. This is done to show us the beach from Brody's eyes (P.O.V shot), and then show his reaction of what is seen. Furthermore we see a black dog playing with its master. The colour black is used to symbolise funeral and death. This tells the audience that the dog could be the victim to the massive messenger of death. A pet dog is used because people will be more likely to have sympathy for a cute Labrador rather than a Pitbull etc. When we see Alex for the first time he asks his mother if he can swim in the water for longer. ...read more.


Only Alex's mother is missing her child. The kind of shot used here is a long shot. The all music and sound stop so as to make us focus on the mother. Finally, we are shown the punctured lilo being washed up on the shore. It is covered in the boy's blood, which suggests that the life and light has been destroyed by darkness and death. I now hope that your imagination has been satisfied with loads of images from the creative but scary film Jaws. In this essay, I have tried to look in dept the techniques used to make this film spectacularly unique film of its time. Spielberg has made Jaws a wonderfully scary film by taking the suspense techniques to the next step - he uses camera shots and sound to build up suspense e.g. Jaws signature tune. I would recommend this film to people of all ages including my own because this film is one of few films that have taken suspense techniques to the next level. So, next time you go to the beach, will you only be concerned about swimming and pleasure? Or will you be concerned about deadly horrors that might lie beneath the beauty of the water, in the depths of the ocean? The only advice I can give is to watch the film and treat it only as a film, for it is not real. Otherwise, we might risk never going into the waters again! Guleed Sudi 10D Mr. Lamey ENGLISH COURSEWORK ...read more.

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