Does this Seventies classic still hold its own on the big screen?
No one’s still scared of Jaws, right? After all, since Spielberg’s opus first stalked cinemagoers in 1975, we’ve found bigger underwater nightmares like Lake Placid crocodiles and perverted piranhas to worry about.
But with Jaws re-released to cinemas this June, it’s time we sat down with the old boy to see if he’s got anything left to offer. So welcome once more to Amity Island, the last resort in family fun.
The shark looks terrible. All of Spielberg’s deft camerawork and ratcheting set pieces come to nought the moment that his pudding-faced, lipstick-mouthed, vulcanised sea phallus erupts onto the screen.
What still works?
It’s tense. Gasp as a middle-aged man winds in a fishing reel! Scream as a dog fails to retrieve a stick! Jaws makes the mundane terrifying. And Robert Shaw
is scene-stealing as deranged Navy salt-cum-fisherman Quint, a hero who demands apricot brandy before he’ll bother leaving his house.
Jaws is still the power in these waters. Beautifully acted and with an unparallelled score, it remains a masterclass in popcorn cinema. Just ignore the shark — it’s better that way.
Jaws is re-issued in cinemas on 15 June and is out on Blu-ray on 3 September