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  • Scarlet Witch


Dir. Steven Spielberg (1975)

A shark terrorizes the coastal town of Amity Island during the July 4th holiday weekend.

“Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars.”


When Rev asked me to review Jaws, I jumped at the offer. Writing a piece on not only one of my favorite movies, but seemingly one of America’s favorite movies? I figured it couldn’t get any easier than that, I’d have it written in no time. 


“You yell shark, and we’ve got a panic on our hands on the 4th of July.”


The reality? I’m not sure I’ve ever struggled so hard to review a film. What is there to say about Jaws that hasn’t already been said countless times before? This movie is so iconic, so prolific, so perfectly executed, and so down right terrifying that it has been approached from every angle. 

“I don’t think he’ll ever go in the water again after what happened yesterday.”


No, really… I mean every angle. You’d be hard pressed to name another film that has had such a long lasting and far reaching sociological effect on society, especially when it comes to public perception of sharks. 


“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”


So, why is it so impactful? So scary? Jaws awakens a deep primal fear, and an inescapable one at that, considering shark friendly oceans cover 70% of Earth’s surface. A fear akin to that ubiquitous feeling of running up the stairs in the dark, certain that something is on your heels, certain you won’t reach the light before it swallows you whole. 

“Here’s to swimmin’ with bowlegged women.”


People don’t watch Jaws in the same vein they watch other horror movies…. There’s no, “This is what I would do. This is how I’d best Bruce.” It is intrinsically understood that should you find yourself afloat off Amity’s Atlantic coast, there is no escape, no master planning… it’s just you, a killer shark, and the wide open ocean. You’re helpless, it’s hopeless, it feels like certain death. And it’s a feeling that hits every single time you watch the movie, as Jaws is just as terrifying today as it was the summer of 1975. Or so my parents tell me (Hi Mom!). 

“Smile, you son of a bitch!”


Jaws is the epitome of summer and it’s a must watch every 4th of July. It is also the reason that I am, to this day, afraid to swim in the deep end after dark. But in an effort to be non partisan, I will leave you with this... I do have one complaint about Jaws: Mrs. Kintner looks way too old to have a kid Alex’s age. 

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