BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 11: (L-R) Steven Spielberg attend the AFI Awards Luncheon at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on March 11, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
Movies - TV
Steven Spielberg Saved Jaws With Some Help From Alfred Hitchcock
“Jaws” is regarded as one of the scariest movies of all time, but it’s not because of the shark itself, which the audience doesn’t actually see much of on-screen. It’s more the suspense of not knowing when it’s coming, which is a technique Steven Spielberg took from one of his heroes, Alfred Hitchcock.
According to Robson Green's 2013 book "Extreme Fishing,” Spielberg faced costly issues when models of the mechanical shark became defunct due to design flaws or electrical problems. As he couldn’t feature the shark in several shots, he realized “It's what we don't see that is truly frightening.”
In Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” the audience never sees the face of the murderer in the famous shower scene, but it remains the most frightening in the film. Spielberg said using this technique in “Jaws” took it “from a Japanese Saturday matinee horror flick to more of a Hitchcock, the less-you-see-the-more-you-get thriller.”