Jaws is like a horror movie gateway drug. It’s got that warm and fuzzy Spielberg tag so people feel safe with it. In addition it was released with that family friendly PG rating. Aww, this must be a sweet movie about a lovable shark named Jaws that a local aquarium adopts and a family grows to love… Hmm, not quite. Jaws is atop many people’s scary movie lists for good reason. It really did make you feel unsafe to go into the water again. I mean if the opening doesn’t do it for you, then the rest will. And if you’re questioning this movie’s brutality, how about this? Most people tend to forget that a small boy (yes, a BOY) is brutally decimated by a shark less than 30 minutes into the movie. How many movies nowadays would kill a child, let alone brutally like this one does? Exactly. This movie set a bar back in 1975 that many have still not reached. This is the perfect example of the old adage that “what you don’t see is the scariest.” But the funny part is that this pretty much happened by accident because they felt the shark looked too fake to show. Happy accident indeed, because it made for one hell of a thrilling scenario. Throw in a gang of great actors who are brought together for a memorable second half shark hunting trip, and you’ve got yourself a really entertaining film. When I was younger, I used to live near a reservoir. One of the greatest things a bunch of us ever did was go out to the middle of the lake on a friend’s motorboat during the night, everyone jumped in the water with a lifejacket on, and we put the TV on the deck with Jaws playing. We watched Jaws while floating aimlessly in the dark water during a pitch black summer night. You want complete and utter fear, repeat that. You’ll never forget it. Until you can have that experience, use Jaws as that gateway drug to the non-horror inclined and start to bring them over to the dark side.


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