06/17/2005: The timing just has to be right....
I'll warn Karen not to click on the link here, since there's a prominent picture of an open-mouthed shark right there by the first paragraph, but for the rest o'you pop culture afficionados not disabled by selachophobia, Slate's "Summer Movies Week" features an interesting review of an unfortunately neglected sub-genre (the shark attack thriller): Sharksploitation! Jaws and the sad decline of the shark movie. An interesting analysis of why, despite the incredible success of Jaws there has been such a depressing dearth of sharks ripping apart hapless humans in movies.
All considerations of pacing and characterization aside, Jaws' success seems like a matter of timing—the movie worked because technology was just good enough to make the shark, and pre-CGI audiences were just green enough to scream at him.
Len on 06.17.05 @ 05:56 AM CST