What exactly is it about dinosaurs chasing and killing people that entertains fans for two hours? Ever since Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the beloved Michael Crichton novel, the fear of bringing back the once extinct creatures has both terrified and fascinated fans. The film is a classic by the bearded director, and is among the best films in the history of cinema. Where it resides on that list is of course up for debate, however, I fully believe it should be part of the conversation.
The second trailer for Universal Pictures Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom debuted during the Super Bowl last night, and with it comes an old friend of the franchise: horror. While the films original trilogy were largely action and the technology to bring the dinosurs to life added just enough science fiction, there was an aspect of terror and intense fear in the original Jurassic Park that seemed to be absent from Jurassic World.
Did it really bother anyone that the lawyer who abandoned the children was eaten by the T-Rex? I didn’t think so.
The first part of the video above shows one of the more intense scenes in the original Jurassic Park, and it a great example of the extreme terror I am talking about. The grandchildren of park owner John Hammond (played by the great Richard Attenborough) are left, more or less to die by the film’s cowardly lawyer. The children are basically sitting ducks inside one of the park’s jeeps as a giant T-Rex looms outside the vehicle. Alerted to their presence by a stubborn flashlight, the dino knows his next meal is inside that jeep. Crushing their the roof window the T-Rex does his best to feast on the children, the only ting between them and the dino’s giant teeth is a thin pane of glass. How it didn’t break I will never understand, but, watching that scene has always made the tips of my fingers hurt.
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The poor siblings aren’t out of the woods just yet, another incredibly tense scene toward the end of the film (which you can watch above), where once again the brother and sister pair are fighting for their lives, this time with raptors on the prowl. The children find themselves hiding in the kitchen area of the facility, and it is here we learn the raptors are smarter than previously thought, as one of them opens a door and then calls for backup. The children, scared out their minds, basically move around the room as quietly as possible, doing their best to move stay one step ahead of the raptors.
Spielberg’s direction of this sequence is masterful, being that the children are the targets in this scene makes the stakes much higher to the viewer. The kids are on their own, with no adults around to help them, they must find a way to survive on their own. The raptors attempt to hunt down the children, but go about it in no hurry, slowly stalking their targets, much like a killer in a horror movie swaggers around a room that he knows a victim is hiding in, all the while the viewer knows its only a matter of time before one of the kids makes some kind of noise to alert the raptors to their location. After a few very close calls, the children manage to escape, but not before both the children and the viewer are put through one of the best “I can’t watch” scenes of the 90s.
2015’s Jurassic World was fun and entertaining, and while it did have its own moments of tension, I don’t remember anything having as slow of a build up as the two scenes I mentioned above (I’m sure if I missed something the commenters will let me know, I’m looking at you KindOfABigDeal and Moby85). However, the trailer for Fallen Kingdom, may have brought some of the franchises old intensity back.
The opening scene of the trailer depicts a dinosaur creeping around inside a house. The dino finds its way to a child’s bedroom. The way the creature taps its claw before entering the room, along with slowly reaching for the little girl gives me hopes that the full scene has a slow, intense build, bringing back the type of terror that made the first films so powerful. It also reminds me a lot of when the Alien and Ripley are face to face in Alien.
Toward the end of the trailer, there is another scene with Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady who is also inside a house, and it is likely the same house from the beginning of the trailer. Close quarters always make things a bit uncomfortable, especially when your are sharing that space with something that wants to eat you. The scene seems to resolve itself fairly quickly in the trailer, as Blue comes in to save the day, but by the look Pratt gives the little girl in the room, I think we are in for a bit of a standoff before stuff hits the fan.
Jurassic World delivered on the action, and while chase sequences are intense in their own right, the close encounters of the original film provide the necessary break from such fast paced scenes, along with the “looking through your fingers” experience that is such a bittersweet part of the watching movies.
The dinosaurs of the old Jurassic Park not only wanted to eat you, they wanted to make sure you were absolutely terrified before you met your end. Much the same way Spielberg wanted you to be on the edge of your seat with scenes like the water rippling in the glass as the T-Rex slowly approached, you know its coming, but when exactly? The wait is the best part.
While I’m not yet ready to say Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will be a full return to form for the franchise, the trailer did have some scenes promising a glimpse into the past, a tribute to an aspect of the older films that set them apart. So what are your thoughts on this, does the new trailer have hints of the old film’s terror? Let us know your thoughts down below!