1975 / d. Stephen Speilberg
I’ll admit, I probably went about 12 years in between viewings of JAWS. Not because I dislike the movie by any means, and not because I was too scared of it to watch it a second time; for me, it’s just one of those films that seems to get neglected. So when it was selected as the viewing material for Monster Movie Monday, I was happy to revisit it after all these years and see how it stacked up against my very vague recollection of it. Obviously it’s classic — everything down to the iconic bah-duh… bah-duh… bah-duh bah-duh bah-duh bah-duh — and the quotable dialogue (I too think you’re going to need a bigger boat, Brody). JAWS has a sort of timeless summery feel which makes it familiar and easy to enjoy during the hot months. My problem with JAWS, however, was only reaffirmed after watching it again recently. I can watch the movie and enjoy it, but I can’t pinpoint what genre I’m watching. It’s a weird blend of horror/thriller/drama, and I’ve never personally subscribed to the idea that just because it has a killer shark as its antagonist that we should all-at-once consider it a horror film. It’s not the shark itself that’s scary, it’s the idea of the shark… of something dangerous lurking beneath the water. To me, you could replace the shark with any other monster and the film could be equally tense and unnerving.
All that said, I do like JAWS, even if I do find it genre-confused and silly at times. Would I recommend it for a Monster Movie Monday viewing? Nah. It’s a serious film which demands your attention. Pop in a copy of JAWS 3D if you’re looking for a good group-viewing experience!