Directed by Steven Spielberg [Other horror films: Duel (1971), Something Evil (1972), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983, segment ‘Kick the Can’), War of the Worlds (2005)]
While certainly one of the true classics of not just the horror genre, but cinema as a whole, Jaws is a film that I don’t love, and don’t really come close to loving. There’s a lot of good stuff in it, especially the second half of the movie, but there’s also some rather sluggish scenes that no amount of good orchestra music makes up for.
Luckily, the three main characters are all pretty decent. While it took some time for Quint’s gruff character to grow on me, there’s no denying that Robert Shaw does a fine job, especially during the scene where the group compares stories and scars. I always liked Richard Dreyfuss’ character, and he consistently solid through the film. Lastly, Roy Scheider does commendably also, though honestly, I think he stands out more in Jaws 2.
The movie picks up beautifully as these three embark on a small ship in order to take out the great white, but the movie beforehand was somewhat patchy, and while never bad, portions just bored me. The second half of the film isn’t perfect, but it was a lot more tense and enjoyable in my opinion.
Obviously, this is a classic, and there’s decent reason for that, but like some other classics of the 1970’s, such as The Exorcist, I was more underwhelmed than anything. I’d probably say the movie’s just a bit below average, but it’s close. Jaws is still worth seeing, please don’t think I doubt that, but unless you’re already a fan, I don’t know how likely it is that you’ll end up loving it.
This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one.