Friday, October 26, 2012
Day 26: Jaws (1975)
A Month of Horror
I have always wanted to do a marathon of "HORROR" throughout the month of October, one where I would revisit a new horror movie every day from the first to the thirty-first. I will revisit the classics as well as new entries into the canon. There are many movies that define this time of year, and I hope to showcase 31 of them this month...
October 26: Jaws (1975)
The oil painted boat above might be a stretch, but if you imagine that ill-fated crew out on the high seas in search of Moby Dick, you get the basic theme of Steven Spielberg's classic "Jaws". You also get the impact of a well delivered masterpiece that showcases the terrors that lie below, and the need for "a bigger boat".
When it was first released in theatres, 37 years ago, audiences did not know what to expect. It was a whole new kind of terror, one that was implied as much as it was evident.
From the opening scenes with the skinny dipping beauty, to the eventual calamity that befalls the small community of Amity, Jaws is an unrelenting masterpiece of suspense and terror. When Brody eventually hits the waters with Quint and Hooper, the movie reverts to a timeless battle of man versus nature.
The shark in "Jaws" is as terrifying, and unrelenting as the land-based slashers that dominate lists such as this, only it is all the more terrifying because it sneaks up on its unsuspecting victims and pulls them down into the dark.
An unseen predator is the most terrifying of all. One that will sneak up on you from below on a bright summer day at the beach. One that will maul and maim its victims for no other reason than to feed.
Upon its release, attendance at public beaches dropped substantially. That says a great deal for the impact that a movie can have, for the terror that it can instill into an unwitting populace...
Tomorrow, I am planning another journey into the unknown, with three short productions that should make the essential viewing list every year - two of which are stalwarts of the season!