This article tackles the pros and cons of Jaws from a nature standpoint. Although the film led to an increase in shark killings, this article is quick to point out that the increased attention in sharks was also beneficial. “After the film's release, interest in sharks skyrocketed, resulting in increased funding for shark research.” With increased funding came increased knowledge, and scientists were able to learn more about sharks than ever before. As a result, we are beginning to learn more about the relationship between sharks and humans, and are beginning to understand that shark attacks often come as a result of sharks falsely thinking that humans are a predator. The article draws a clear distinction between educated scientists and common movie-goers. Even though the results continue to provide more conclusions that sharks aren’t out to get humans, the average person still views sharks as extremely dangerous. According to the article, “The reputation remains entrenched in the public psyche 30 years after the movie's release.” While scientists are using the benefits of Jaws to get more in-depth knowledge, the average person isn’t putting this information to its full use. Many people still suffer from a fear of sharks, while they really shouldn’t be so scared. It speaks wonders of Jaws that 30 years later it can still be so persuasive that it to a large extent overrides the research of scientists. This truly shows the power of Jaws and how it was able to adamantly convince beach-dwellers that they shouldn’t feel safe when they step foot in the ocean.
This review is a very well written piece that does a great job breaking down the aspects that make Jaws the masterpiece that it is, but also pointing out its flaws. This article is worth noting because it explains how Jaws left such a shock on viewers and why it was so powerful even after audiences left the theater. There are many horror films in many genres that haven’t had nearly the same impact as Jaws and this article provides a possible explanation. Nesbit attributes the films success to the way Spielberg was able to set up scenes and master the art of suspense. It wasn’t only the gruesome images that had a lasting impact on the viewers, but also the element of surprise and not knowing exactly when the dreadful images would come. This is a very important aspect to Jaws that made the film so influential. Everyone knew at some point there would be bloodshed, yet the road there wasn’t so simple. Spielberg used the prevalent theme song to build up the threat of violence, however its portentous tune didn’t necessarily mean something bad was immediately coming. It was his way of putting the audience on the edge of their seats. Numerous times he would intentionally mislead the audience, hyping them up for extreme violence, only to be children scuba diving or adults horsing around. This technique added another dimension to the film, and added to its overall power. If the film relied solely on freaking out the audience with shark attacks there’s no way its impact would have been felt the same way that it was. As Nesbit points out, “Spielberg doesn't serve up mass quantities of blood and gore. He knows it's the anticipation of horror that brings suspense; there are relatively few killings.” This technique works to make the ocean seem so gripping; every time it is shown there is the potential for something terrible to happen, yet it is unlikely. Perhaps this is the lasting image that led to such an increase in the fear of sharks, as people could relate to shark attacks likely not occurring, however there would always be that mystical possibility.