‘The Meg’ gives viewers reasons to fear the water

Recent release rivals terror factor of ‘Jaws’

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Sam Haselby, Film Critic

Since Steven Spielberg released the blockbuster smash film “Jaws” in 1975, people have long been awaiting a shark film that is worth their time.

Sure, there have been some pop culture hits such as the unfortunately successful “Sharknado” series. But now, four decades later, people finally have another reason to be afraid to go into the water as a result of the release of “The Meg.”

This film hit theaters Aug. 10, and has stayed there for a reason. One of the main reasons is due to the fact that the effects are hauntingly precise, which makes the viewer forget that they are watching a fictional movie, but rather feel as if they have stepped into the scariest documentary they will ever see.

Another reason is because director Jon Turteltaub made the same imperative decision as did Spielberg back in 1975. Turteltaub decided not to show the shark early in the film. This is a strategy that is used to build tension and conjure even more fear. It is the reason why films such as the original “Jaws,” “The Blair Witch Project,” “Dunkirk,” “A Quiet Place” and many more that use this technique are successful in creating a definite fear factor.

Directors choose not to show the main threat. Not being able to see what you should be afraid of is the reason why children are terrified of the dark. The imagination kicks in and makes it that much more terrifying.

But the important factor of “The Meg” is the moment that the shark is revealed, which does not disappoint. The magnitude of this creature is one that makes the viewer stressed and uncomfortable, because it is able to commit acts unlike any other shark in any other film. This causes the audience to feel unsafe no matter where the characters find themselves, because any moment could be abruptly intruded upon by this monster.

This film is one that keeps the viewers’ eyes glued to the screen every second of its runtime, while simultaneously making them peek through their fingers in the undeniable straining tension that could be cut with a single tooth of the megalodon.