Analyse the Way the Director Builds Suspense in Jaws

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Analyse the ways that the director builds suspense and scares the audience in the film ‘Jaws’

The film Jaws was directed by Steven Spielberg in 1975.
It was a good film at the time, and still is because Steven Spielberg is known for creating films that build suspense and scare people.

Jaws is about a shark that attacks people on the beach at a fictional holiday resort, called Amity island. Jaws was set on the 4th of July, because it was Independence Day and that is a holiday in America when people would be able to visit a beach – so it is realistic. Spielberg set the film on this day because more people are off school and work and this would mean the Mayor would not want to close the beach because there would be more tourists and if he closed the beach there would be a big impact on the island’s income, but this means there are more victims for the shark.

In the first attack the people are having a beach party. A girl runs off and a boy chases her and he falls over. The girl goes swimming and the boy is following her into the water, but she gets attacked by the shark. Spielberg uses non diegetic sound like what the audience can here but the person in the water doesn’t. This music is used whenever the shark is attacking and so when the audience hear that music they know that something is going to happen and they start to feel nervous!

There is also lots of diegetic sound in this attack we can hear her screaming, breathing and splashing, this helps build suspense because Chrissie wasn’t aware of the danger of the shark before the attack happened. This sense made the audience feel like they were there and it made them jump.

Spielberg used good camera angles to build suspense and scare the audience like when the sheriff was throwing dead fish with blood in the water and the shark jumps out of the water and you jump out of your skin. The camera angel is the shark’s point of view swimming up on a gradual zoom to Chrissie legs. This is called...
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