Suspense in Steven Spielberg's Movie Jaws

2836 Words12 Pages
Suspense in Steven Spielberg's Movie Jaws

Steven Spielberg, the creator of Jaws, uses many different techniques to draw in the suspense of viewers and to capture their imagination. These techniques include special effects – to create tension, different camera angles – to show facial expressions and group shots. The classic Jaws music, known by millions of people, also helps build up tension, to let us know when the shark is approaching. He uses colours, so that we can associate signs and symbols to forthcoming events, e.g. the colour red is associated with danger. We will be using all of the above devices to help analyse different parts of the film.

As soon as the film starts, from the title sequence, these techniques are being used. The music begins very quietly and slowly. In my opinion, I get the impression that danger is on its way, and, also, it is dark, which builds up the suspense. The opening credits are written a sharp pointy writing, which is perhaps suggesting the teeth of the shark, and its capabilities.

As the scene changes, the suspense and anxiety increases, because we are now watching the film from the sharks point of view but, as the shark is swimming through the water, there is a lot of weeds in his way, which makes the audience very agitated, and the speed of the shark may suggest that he is anxious to get somewhere.

The music then starts to build up, by getting louder and faster. This starts to get the audience thinking, and wondering what will happen next. It builds up a lot of tension and suspense, and you seem, to know that danger is getting closer.

After this event, the atmosphere changes dramatically. It becomes livelier, and there is an old-fashioned feeling, as there is a mouth organ being played in the background. Everybody seems to be having fun, which does make them seem quite a lot more vulnerable, as they are unaware of the danger.

There is also a large bonfire on the beach, which gives the audience a sense of safety, but also, fire means danger, so it makes you unsure. The large amount of people also gives you a sense of safety, but again this is dampened by the fact that they are in the dark, making them seem vulnerable, also this makes their vision very scarce, as it is the dark, and they can’t see very far.

The third shot reminds us of the danger, as you have pushed the...

... middle of paper ...

...n see that Brody does not feel safe, and it makes Brody look really vulnerable.

When you first see the shark leaving the docks, you watch them leave through a pair of shark jaws. When I saw this, I immediately thought that Brody, Hooper and Quinn would encounter the shark, and that it wasn’t going to be an easy trip. Seeing the shark jaws also builds up tension.

My fifth advice is when Quinn lies on the radio. He tells people on shore that everything is fine, and they have nothing to worry about, but at this point in the film, they are actually “battling” the shark. This leads the viewers to false pretences, as you can see what is happening, and I got the impression that Quinn did not want the people on the other end of the radio to know the real capabilities of the shark. I also got the impression that Quinn did not want any help, as if it would degrade him, he had to do it all on his own.

My last device is where the music changes, and becomes a more happy song. This happens when the first barrel is attached to the shark, and this leads the viewers to believe that Quinn, Hooper and Brody have virtually beaten the shark, but in fact they are no where near.

More about Suspense in Steven Spielberg's Movie Jaws

Open Document