Of all the moments of terror in the film, the first one with Chrissie, bothers me the most. No visible shark or blood but I experience her terror and pain more than any other event in the movie. Not even Quint's demise bothers me as much. I often zip thru this attack because it bothers me so much. Gore is not required to create true terror.
Another ditto for me. Chrissie's demise freaks me out completely. I'd go so far as to say it's one of the most chilling deaths in the movies. It's got everything - the unsuspecting victim doing something they've done a thousand times. The incomprehension as the strike takes place, dissolving into sheer terror as she realises her predicament. The isolation of the victim - her friends are a matter of yards away and they might as well be light years, not that they'd be able to do anything to help her. The sheer physicality of the attack - the shark shakes her like a terrier shaking a rat. And then she's gone without a trace, leaving her drunk boyfriend belching in the surf blissfully unaware that his skinnydipping partner has been eaten. Damn, it still gives me the shivers.
My Mum tells me about the impact of the shower scene in Psycho
- she saw it the week it came out. Freaked her out completely, but what made it worse was nobody would believe her that Janet Leigh would wind up deaded in the first reel. She was a movie star.
Chrissie is my generation's Marion Crane. I can't recall a screen death since that's had the impact of that first shark attack and while I'm looking forward to the Blu-ray, I'm not looking forward to seeing Chrissie become sharkbait again.