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Jaws Tension

Jaws is set on the once calm shores of Amity Island. It was a tourist destination with tourists flocking there every year for the beaches, but disaster stuck when a shark decides to use its calm water as a feeding ground. Stephen Spielberg’s movie Jaws was an R rated tension building movie, which shocked and terrified the people of the 70’s. Stephan Spielberg Builds up tension by what you can see, camera shots/angles and what you can hear. The thing that builds up tension the most is the title sequence were the camera seems to be swimming in the murky water.

The slow dramatic music builds up tension as the tempo gets faster and faster so it seems you are the shark that is approaching his prey. Then the music suddenly stops as if he has caught his prey. Then it switches scene from scary music to calm harmonica playing around a fire on the Shore of Amity Island. The fire creates a sense of safeness and the proximity from the water makes you think the youths aren’t going to be attacked. Until one girl (Chrissie) gets up and runs along the shore towards the water and the drunken boy follows her but passes out on the shore.

The girl swims out far you can tell this because you can see a boy next to her. The tension builds up when you think she is being attacked when she sinks in to the water, but she raises also the water is black so you do no what is under her. You then get a view from below her and the music starts playing, so you know she is going to get attacked. The shark bites her leg a drags her around in the water, a close up shows the terror on her face, before the shark pulls her under. The technique he uses is camera angles and lighting.

The next day chief Brodie gets called out and meets the boy who was with Chrissie, then they hear a whistle so they run towards it. The tension builds when it shows a on the police mans face who blew the whistle. He looks upset and shocked then the chief find Chrissies mangled arm buried in the sand. There are 5 main attacks in the movie the first of which is on Chrissie. The next attack is on the 4th of July, a day when many tourists come to Amity Island. At first no one wants to get in to the water because of the shark attack on the Chrissie, however, after a while they all run into the water.

This is where the tensions start building when all the people run in to the water and start splashing around. Chief Brodie is very nervous that some one is going to get attacked. Then a boy goes out on his lilo and again you get this view from under the water of the boy and the music starts playing so you no he is going to get attacked then the shark engulfs the boy. All the people run out the water and the shredded remains of the lilo wash up on to the shore. Then it has a close up on the chief’s face to show tension.

The director uses close ups camera angles and hints. The 3rd attack is on two fisher men who want the bounty for the shark they attach some meat to a chain then attach it to the peer then throw the meet in to the water. The fisher men get a bite and the chain starts reeling out then the peer snaps and gets pulled out in to the sea along with one of the fisher men. The when you see the peer turning and coming back and the music starts playing. The fisher man swims a fast as he can and only just makes it back on to the peer.

The 4th attack is were chief Brodie’s son and his friends wants to go sailing so he says to take it to the pond. You think nothing is going to happen because the boy says that’s where the old people swim making it seem safe. But the tension builds up when a woman sees a sharks fin in the pond and shouts shark but the children are already in the water. A man in a small boat gets knocked out his boat when he was talking to the boys and gets eaten by the shark the children freeze but they get pulled out of the water when all the people rush over to see what happened.

The final attack is one of many on the boat with Quint chief Brodie and the Bruce on but the last attack on the boat s the best attack the tension builds when the shark goes under the boat then your see the barrels which are attracted to it turn in the water and head for the back end of the boat then jumps up and bites the back end of the boat and tilts the boat and Quint slides down the boat in to the giant jaws of the shark.

There is a on the shark then the shark bites him at the hips and bloods come pouring out Quints mouth and body then the shark pulls him under the water. As you can see Stephan Spielberg creates tension in many different ways to scare the audience.

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