Jaws Stalks Theaters Again This Summer

Published on June 12th, 2015 in: Horror, Movies, Pop Culture News, Upcoming Events |

By Tim Murr


I’d guess I have about ten films that are deeply important to me on an emotional level. They’re not necessarily all deep movies, but they are all films that represent very specific times and very specific situations, both good and bad. They are films that I can watch over and over and be transported back to a time and place and vividly relive a certain state of mind and/or heart.

Jaws is one if those films. I was four when I saw Jaws and Jaws 2 on cable. I watched it multiple times before I turned five, which is when my parents divorced. So for me, watching Jaws always takes me back to a time when the world didn’t feel like it was ending everyday. (A feeling that never went away, but evolved from fear to anger to bitterness.)

Maybe it’s strange that such a dark film would be a source of light, but the popularity and endurance of the film tells me I’m not alone. Jaws is one of the most beloved B-movies ever made, thanks in no small part to the stellar cast who act their asses off and a young director that didn’t let the fact that his mechanical shark didn’t work stop him from turning Peter Benchley’s novel into one of the most memorable films of all time.

To me, the one area where the sequels fail is that they are killer shark films first and character dramas second. The intrigue of the original Jaws comes as much from the dark profits-before-people subplot as it does from a 24-foot-long Great White stalking a sleepy little coast town as it fills up with tourists. Then there’s the third act that takes place on Quint’s boat—just our three heroes on the open water against a brutal and efficient killing machine of monstrous proportions. (Robert Shaw’s monologue during the third act still gives me chills.)

Yes, there’s drama, tension, even horror throughout the film, but Jaws has more in common with Taxi Driver in the way it uses human pain to build to a violent fever pitch in the final moments of the film.

When Jaws returns to 500 theaters this June 21 and 24, no one should pass up on the opportunity to see this film the way is was meant to be. (And don’t forget that The Terminator will return to theaters this summer as well!)

If I may put forth one of my long held opinions: THIS is what studios should have been doing all along, re-releasing classics back to theaters regularly, instead of pissing away money on remakes and reboots, thus freeing up money to invest in new and original ideas. Or, you know, 50 more Marvel films a year.

Check your local cineplexes to see if Jaws will be stalking your town.

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