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Analyse the ways in which the director builds suspense and scares the audience in the film "Jaws"

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Analyse the ways in which the director builds suspense and scares the audience in the film "Jaws" I will be looking at the film "Jaws"; an adaptation from the book based upon a bestselling novel by Peter Benchley, directed by Stephen Spielberg and analysing the ways in which he builds up suspense and scares the audience using a verity of different methods. The film is about a series of attacks by a great white shark on a small island town called "Amity" (Ironically meaning peace and harmony). Set in 1975, the film revolves around the central character Martin Brody, the sheriff of Amity Island, and his struggle to keep the residents and tourist safe from the newly introduced predator to the waters surrounding the island. After the first attack it is made clear to Brody that there was a shark. He orders to close the beaches however the mayor of Amity refuses, saying that the beaches were fundamental to the economy of the island, especially around the approaching forth of July, a major American holiday. There is another attack on a small boy which causes a reward to be put up for capture of the shark. A rather unsuccessful attempt of capturing the shark which resulted in the destruction of a jetty followed. The next day Matt Hooper, a marine biologist, arrives to examine the remains of the first victim and subsequently concludes that there is a much bigger threat then first believed and that the shark which was caught was not the one which had claimed the lives of two people already. ...read more.


First of which is the autopsy of Christine Walkins, the first to fall victim to the sharks attack. When Hooper and Brody go to see the remains, the audience are shocked when a box is brought out onto the table. Hooper is also an indication of how shocking it would be to see the remains by his heavy breathing, request for water and his description of it. Again, not seeing all the remains has a bigger affect on the audience as their imagination can run wild during the description. No one in the audience would expect this to happen as many people would associate an autopsy with a body, not the remains which have been scooped up out of the water. This is an indication of the power and ferocity of the shark on a human When the two fishermen go out on the jetty at night to try and catch the shark, another warning to the audience about the shark's power is displayed. When the shark bites at the bait and the chain is being pulled one is prepared for the shark to come to a stop when there is no more slack. However, the shark just powers straight on pulling apart the jetty and then dragging it out to sea. The fisherman is swimming back to the jetty with the shark chasing him is a further display of the sharks power in this scene. After pulling the jetty part and dragging it out to sea, the shark still manages to drag the jetty back inland and chase the fisherman. ...read more.


Firstly, the first indications of the shark is displayed by it pulling on the line and the real creaking where the line is being taken out. Quint slowly and calmly puts on his harness and positions the rod. This definitely is done to create tension as the audience now have to wait for something big to happen. However, nothing happens and the line eventually snaps. This is a false climax purposely placed in the movie. Further tension is created when Brody is throwing bait into the water and the shark comes up. A device used to shock the audience. After several more unsuccessful attempts of capturing the shark, Hooper goes into the water in a cage to try and poison it. There is a moment of silence when Hooper removes the protective cap of the spear which is followed by the shark hitting the back of the cage causing Hooper to drop the spear. Fear is made by the shark repeatedly battering the cage and almost getting to Hooper. "Jaws" is a cinematic masterpiece, featuring everything a good movie needs. It manages to capture the audiences' attention throughout and never has a dull moment. Though I personally do not consider the film a scary one, I do think it is a tension filled adventure. The part which got me gripped the most was the end, where after Quint had been killed and Hooper not around, Brody left to fight off the shark on his own. With his last few shots from his gun, Brody mages to kill the shark and end the rain of terror. ?? ?? ?? ?? Media - Jaws ...read more.

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