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Scary Movies: Jaws

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According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), unprovoked shark attacks have been growing steadily over the past century.

This statistic is good enough reason for me to never go into the ocean higher than waist-deep, ever again. Ironic, for a person who moved from chilly Boston to sunny L.A. in order to live the breezy, beach-y life.

But the kid in me that walked by the covers of Jaws 1-3 a few too many times in the video store, and who finally, God knows at whose negligent parents’ house, watched Jaws at age eight, has never really outgrown the inflicted terror.

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The Spielberg classic takes place in Amity, a small beach community. I’m sure I’m not the only kid who was scared shitless and completely away from the possibility of ever entering ocean water naked, let alone late at night, after viewing the opening scene. Unsuspecting Chrissie Watkins (Susan Blacklinie) goes for an innocent night-swim and gets yanked under the water, only to resurface in a pool of her own blood, then yanked down again to her death, screaming bloody murder the whole way.

The sleepy tourist town is thrown into an uproar following Chrissie’s death, and the shark attacks continue. Local Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) then leads Amity through the hunt for the real underwater killer, even after a wrongly identified suspect is murdered (tough break, tiger shark) and town support begins to wane.