Jaws re-energized the horror genre while simultaneously giving birth to the big summer blockbuster tentpole movie. Indeed, without the enormous success of Jaws, there might never have been a Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or an MCU to speak of. It also helped jumpstart the incredibly successful career of director Steven Spielberg.
Unfortunately, the sequels to Jaws weren’t quite up to par with what Spielberg managed to accomplish with the original. Nevertheless, they’re all good fun in their own way, with some spectacular scary death scenes to frighten audiences with. Here’s the most bone-chilling of the entire bunch.
10 Chrissie Watkins (Jaws)
Chrissie’s death is the scene that kicked off the entire Jaws franchise and made millions of people afraid to go into the water again. The clever use of first-person camera angles, dim lighting and (naturally) terrified screaming helped sell Chrissie’s agonizing death and pave the foundation for the rest of the film.
The sheer brutality of the death doesn’t require copious amounts of blood to sell the scene. It goes on just long enough to be uncomfortable before ending Chrissie’s life and changing people’s interpretations of great white sharks for the absolute worst.
9 July 4th Incident (Jaws)
After ignoring multiple warnings about a killer shark from Martin and Hooper, Mayor Vaughn decides to open up Amity’s beaches for the hot July 4th tourist season. His concerns about the local economy and his own re-election campaign soon backfires when the shark becomes attracted to all the activity.
While a couple of kids play a mean-spirited prank by pretending to be a shark, the real beast launches an attack at another area of the beach and kills a resident. The incident causes Mike Brody to go into shock and devastates the celebrations.
8 Quint’s Death (Jaws)
To put an end to the dangerous shark once and for all, Mayor Vaughn signs off on a bill to hire local fisherman Quint to hunt it down and kill it. Brody and Hooper go along with him to track the shark while simultaneously luring it away from Amity Island. It’s a battle of wills on the open water between raw killer instinct and human hunting skills.
The three underestimate the shark’s tenacity as it causes immense damage to their boat and causes it to slowly sink. With options quickly running out, the shark launches an attack and catches Quint off guard who ends up in its killer jaws, dying a horribly painful death. In the process, the audience lost one of its most quotable characters from the entire film.
7 Flare Gun Explosion (Jaws)
The second shark to terrorize Amity Island was in some ways even more bold and vicious than the first. It openly attacked several people before turning its attention on the summer revelers. Two unfortunate victims were a female water-skier and her friend.
After the water-skier went under, the shark turned its attention to the driver of the boat and openly attacked her. In a panic, she tried to hit the shark over the head with a gas tank, but lost her footing and doused the boat. Before she could think, she fired a flare gun at the shark which ended up triggering the entire boat to explode.
6 Eddie & Tina (Jaws 2)
The second Jaws film was riddled with on-set problems and challenges, but still a relatively decent follow-up to the original. Eddie & Tina wanted nothing more than to drive their boat out into the water and enjoy a little private time together. Their interests were firmly invested in a hookup as evidenced by Tina’s request for Eddie to get the blanket out.
While doing so, the shark made a beeline for their boat and collided with it, knocking Eddie into the water while dragging the boat away. He tried valiantly to swim back, only to be seized by the shark and rammed straight into the side of the boat. Tina watched as the shark yanked him under, leaving a pool of blood in his wake.
5 Helicopter Attack (Jaws 2)
One of the more unrealistic kills of the Jaws franchise is undoubtedly the scene where a helicopter comes to pick up the stranded kids who have since been attacked multiple times by the stalking shark. The chopper manages to set down in the water and tie a lifeline to their wrecked boat, but before it can fully lift off, the shark makes its move.
It grabs the helicopter and causes it to lose altitude before striking the water and flipping upside down, only to be dragged underneath. It’s enough to dash the hopes of the kids who were certain they had been rescued, but the shark wasn’t about to give up its prey just yet.
4 Shelby Overman (Jaws 3)
The first act of Jaws 3 finds another great white infiltrating a water park through a set of gates and triggering a tidal wave of chaos. The first sign of trouble comes when Kathryn Morgan notices that dolphins are too afraid to come out of their pen. A mechanic named Shelby Overman dives into the water to investigate the gates.
He reinforces the lock moments before realizing that the shark has made its way inside. It attacks him and devours everything but a severed arm that floats eerily in the dusky water – a testament to the shark’s presence as one of the most frightening killers lurking in the deep dark ocean.
3 FitzRoyce (Jaws 3)
In an attempt to lure the shark into a trap, FitzRoyce uses himself as bait to draw it into a large pipe with a strong current going through it. He pulls himself through the pipe via a rope as the shark struggles against the current to follow him.
Unfortunately, the rope snaps due to the strength of the current, which sends FitzRoyce straight into the gaping maw of the shark. It’s one of the most brutal deaths of the entire franchise as audiences listen to the sound of pained, muffled screams and crunching bones.
2 Sean Brody (Jaws: The Revenge)
The fourth and final Jaws film is widely regarded as one of the worst shark movies ever made despite a bevy of great actors and some good directorial work. However, it begins on a sour note with Martin Brody’s youngest son Sean checking out during the very first act. Audiences who grew up with the Jaws franchise remember Sean as for his appearances in the first two films, one of which put him straight into the shark’s crosshairs.
Years later, the adult Sean follows in his father’s footsteps as a police deputy. He heads out to clear debris from a buoy just a few days before Christmas, and this leaves him wide open for attack by an entirely new shark that bites his arm off. Sean screams for help, but the sound of Christmas carolers on the mainland drowns him out. As he leans farther over the edge of the boat to try and call for help, the shark attacks a second time and kills him in cold blood.
1 The Banana Boat Killing (Jaws: The Revenge)
Martin Brody’s oldest son Michael has since grown up, married and had a child named Thea. While Ellen Brody attempts to get her mind off of the recent death of her husband and youngest son, she takes Thea out for a day at the beach. Thea ends up going out on an inflatable banana boat.
The shark decides to launch an attack on the little boat and narrowly misses the young Thea, instead catching a female passenger at the very back. Hundreds of people look on in horror as the shark clamps down on her leg and kills her before dragging her body under the water.
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