Jaws (1975) – Steven Spielberg
Most people wouldn’t consider Jaws to be a horror film. They would argue it into the category of suspense, or thriller, or even action film, and they wouldn’t be wrong. But a film that managed to scare an entire nation out of the water must have had something pretty terrifying to offer. That is because at the center of this film is one of the oldest and most horrific concepts: a monster; a man-eating monster that challenges ones physical existence. The balance in Jaws is the human element, which allowed it to explore many themes and made it one of the most successful films ever. The dynamic of the three principal characters (Brody, Hooper, and Quint) embody very different personalities that all share one thing in common: fear. But like Psycho fifteen years before it, there is an underlying sophistication embedded in Jaws, which stems from Spielberg’s ability to tell a story visually, emotionally, and intellectually so that it resonates with the audience.
Check back tomorrow for the next installment of the Horror Alphabet.