The Ways that the Director Builds Suspense

The film I will be analysing is called Jaws which is a 1975 thriller and horror film directed by Steven Spielberg. It was based on a novel by Peter Benchley entitled Jaws. The film is about a police chief who tries to protect the people on Amity Island, a small holiday resort, from a giant great white shark by closing the beach. While trying to close the beach chief Brody was overruled by the town council and mayor who wanted the beach to stay open to get money from tourists in the summer season. After about three more attacks, the police chief asks for the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter to try and kill the shark. The film is set in the middle of the summer season of July in 1975 on Amity Island which is a fictional island. It was set on the 4th of July because it is the day that the USA made the Declaration of Independence; it also attracts people to the beaches of America. It is summer, it’s hot, and lots of people want to cool off by going to the beach during the holiday. In this essay I will be looking at how the director builds suspense and scares the audience in the film Jaws.

One of the many ways Spielberg helps build suspense is through the music. The music from the opening sequence sounds scary because of the repetition of the sounds as they get louder and faster. This strikes fear into the audience and makes you think about the dangerous animals in the ocean. The shark is connected to the music in the title sequence. We know this because the music is playing while in a 1st person view the unknown is moving through the deep blue sea. The 1st person view would be the view of the shark, in other words what the shark sees or is looking at. We see through the shark’s eyes the deep ocean and it looks as if he was hunting or preying for food. We also know the music in the film and the great white shark is.

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The Ways that the Director Builds Suspense. (2018, Sep 02). Retrieved from