#24: Jaws/Jurassic Park — dir. Steven Spielberg
Alright, I admit, this was a cheat. But honestly, I consider Jaws and Jurassic Park to be kissing cousins at the very least. Both are about tourist attractions that ignore deadly predatory animals in the name of capitalism. John Hammond and the Amity city council are of the same breed.
Spielberg’s done a lot of amazing stuff. And yes, I’m foregoing all the drama and Indiana Jones for his horror based stuff. These are slasher films without a slasher. The slashers are incidental, almost atmospheric. It’s the “One good man” trying to save the day. The characters in these films are so phenomenal. Sheriff Brody, Richard Dreyfus’s scientist, Quint. Amazing stuff. Ian Malcolm, Dr. Grant, et al. So good.
And both films are unafraid to put children in harm’s way. Dark stuff, but so compelling. I think children need to see other children almost getting eaten. It’s harrowing and yet delightful. I even think if a kid did get nipped it wouldn’t have taken things too far.
While Spielberg’s become more WWII focused, it’s easy to forget Spielberg’s got some serious horror chops. At heart, both of these films are horror movies, and watched as such, are instructional on how to make a good horror film. Arrogance breeds savagery. Even when the fucking dinosaurs or shark have multiple kills, the moneymakers are still shrugging, “Eh, it happens, we’ll fix it when the park opens.” It’s so fucking great.