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Why is Jaws still Spielberg(TM)s most effective thriller?

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Introduction

Why is Jaws still Spielberg's most effective thriller? 'Jaws' is a thriller with an exciting plot. A thriller is a genre that creates tension and suspense. A typical thriller can feature a terrifying predator and in Jaws it is the shark that is the predator. Films like 'King Kong' and 'The Fly' which were early predecessors had major influences on more modern films like Jaws. It was followed by 'The Return of the Fly.' 'Jaws' was made in Long Island America in 1975. It was made by Steven Spielberg. It is set on a beach resort and it is about a great white shark that was disrupting holidays. It firstly took the life of a young girl at night. Next, it took the life of a child when the sea green waters turn red. Police Chief Brody, the local Inspector decides to take up the case with the help of a marine biologist and a fisherman they put an end to the bloodshed. At the beginning of the first scene in Jaws it is a dark night which is typical icon of thriller genres which thrills and creates mystery, fear and tension in the viewer. We become engaged in the play by focusing on the two silhouettes across the beach. They create the initial plot and it keeps us hooked to the movie right from the beginning. ...read more.

Middle

There are mid-close-ups of the chief looking over shoulders. This creates tension by transferring the stress to the audience; the viewer knows more than the character about what is going to happen which is dramatic irony as we know about the previous attack which is shown in the Chief's facial expressions. Non-digetic sound is used to add to the atmosphere when the Chief can't concentrate on the beach as the radio is on and people are talking and screaming. We are left in suspense wondering if there is going to be another attack. The central characters that are used as a focus indicate the dog and boy, the old man, the Chief, the little boy building a castle, the woman floating in the water and a big group of children. The viewers are nervous about what is going to happen which keeps us hooked to the movie. These characters are used to give two false alarms. The man in the black swim hat looks like a shark and the boy who lifts the girl underwater creates the impression of an attack. We are kept tense waiting for the attack and alarmed by the false warnings. Other signs and symbols used to denote danger when the man calls out for his dog and he has suddenly gone missing. The signified meaning of this is that the dog has been killed by the shark and the presence of the shark creates suspense. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is non-digetic music, the jaws signature tune which plays when the shark appears near the cage and stops when the shark is more visual towards the end of the scene. This lets the viewer of the sharks' presence and the music is peaceful and calm as soon as the shark is destroyed at the end and drifts towards the sea bed. This creates an effect of happiness and satisfaction as the audience is fearless. Overall, I think Jaws is a successful thriller because of the suspense that is created in the movie. For example, the signature tune keeps us in apprehension waiting to see what happens next. Also, the movie is realistic because sharks could actually kill you in real life which gives us creates a realistic effect. If you compare Jaws to 'Jurassic Park' for example; this thriller won't keep us in as much suspense like it would in Jaws because dinosaurs are not actually living creatures and so the plot lacks terrifying realism. The plot in Jurassic Park is fantastical and also, the characters in the movie always escape death. The first frightening technique in the movie is in the opening scene when the girl is focused on and there is a close up of her being pulled under. This puts tension on the audience as we don't know what is attacking the girl. Then in the last scene where there is increase in tension for the audience and we think that there could possibly many kinds of different endings to the story. JRR ...read more.

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