What Makes the Movie Jaws Scary?

The movie Jaws is considered a classic thriller that has terrified audiences for decades. But what makes it so scary? Let’s take a closer look at the elements that make Jaws a spine-chilling experience.

The Shark

One of the most obvious reasons why Jaws is scary is the shark itself. The film’s director, Steven Spielberg, did an excellent job of creating suspense by keeping the shark hidden until later in the movie. This builds up tension and anticipation, making the audience wonder when and where the shark will appear next.

When the shark finally does make its appearance, it’s an impressive sight. The special effects used to create the shark were groundbreaking for their time and still hold up today. The combination of realistic movements and ominous music makes for an unforgettable scene.

The Setting

Another reason why Jaws is so scary is because of its setting. The movie takes place in Amity Island, a small beach town that relies on tourism for its economy. This idyllic setting is disrupted by a series of shark attacks that threaten to ruin everything.

The contrast between the peaceful beach and the violent attacks creates a sense of unease throughout the movie. Even when characters are enjoying themselves on the beach, there’s always a sense that danger could be lurking just beneath the surface.

The Characters

Jaws also features memorable characters who help to make it a terrifying experience. Chief Brody, played by Roy Scheider, is a relatable protagonist who wants to protect his community from harm. His fear and determination are palpable throughout the movie.

Quint, played by Robert Shaw, is another standout character who adds to the tension of Jaws. As a grizzled old fisherman with his own agenda, he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with Chief Brody and this adds another layer of conflict to an already tense situation.

The Soundtrack

Finally, the soundtrack of Jaws deserves special mention. Composed by John Williams, the music is a classic example of how sound can enhance the mood and atmosphere of a movie. The iconic two-note theme is instantly recognizable and has become synonymous with impending danger.

The use of music to create suspense is a hallmark of Jaws and it’s one of the reasons why it has stood the test of time as a horror classic.


In conclusion, Jaws is scary because it combines excellent storytelling, memorable characters, and groundbreaking special effects with an iconic soundtrack. From the setting to the characters to the shark itself, everything about this movie works together to create an unforgettable horror experience. If you’ve never seen Jaws before or if it’s been a while since your last viewing, now is the perfect time to revisit this classic thriller.