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ENGLISH - How Does the Director Build Suspense and Scare the Audience in the Film Jaws?

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How Does the Director Build Suspense and Scare the Audience in the Film "Jaws"? "Jaws" was the summer blockbuster of 1975 and was directed by Steven Spielberg. The film was based on the novel written by Peter Benchley. Benchley had been interested in sharks ever since he was a child growing up on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. He knew a lot about sharks and had done a couple of magazine stories about them. His expert knowledge about sharks helped him to construct a successful plot for the story hence producing a successful thriller. The film is set on a beach on Amity Island on the 4th July. The film was set on the 4th July because it is America's day of independence, which is a public holiday and therefore some people would relax by the sea. The film is about a great white shark attacking people swimming in the sea. Officer Brody, shark expert Matt Hooper and shark-killer Quint head off to the sea to try and kill the shark for good. ...read more.


It builds suspense for the audience because it is dramatic irony that the audience want to warn Alex swimming on the yellow lilo to get out of the water. Then there is a zoom shot showing the expression of shock on Brody's face. After the attack has occurred and the children return to the sand, the yellow lilo washes up on the shore and everyone is calm except for the mother: this is shown through a mid-shot, to emphasise how scared the mother is and how distressing the situation has become. When the shark is involved within the scene, slow and threatening instrumental music is played and the pace increases as the shark approaches closer to its prey. This helps to build tension and fear within the audience. During each attack, the amount of blood being spread in the water shows how violent the damage from the shark is. The audience fear from the shark because of the shark's aggression and violence towards humans. Characters are anxious and frightened whenever the shark is near, such as the public running away from the sea when the shark's fin is spotted. ...read more.


In my opinion, the scariest part of the film is during the first attack, because the audience expect the film to begin introducing the main characters and storyline, however it jumps straight to the horror. The attack being set in the dark also creates the fear because you are unaware of what is about to happen until the P.O.V shot from the shark is shown. The pace of the music also creates tension because as the pace increases, the more you concentrate, therefore the dark and speedy atmosphere creates the fear. The audience of 1975 would be more fearful and impressed by the film 'Jaws' as the special effects include the mechanical shark, which was the cutting edge technology at the time. However the audience of today would not be as affected because the use of CGI (computer-generated imagery) is the main method of creating special effects in films. Due to recent shark attacks on the Florida coast and around British beaches, the fear of the shark in 'Jaws' increased within the audience of today. This concludes my opinion that the film 'Jaws' appears terrifying to any kind of audience in any time period. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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