The overwhelming terror gripping Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” does not lie in the scenes where the shark emerges and attacks but in the quiet anticipation surrounding the inevitable, where glimpses of the creature can be seen from time to time. The shark only has a 4-minute screen time in “Jaws,” but this is enough to evoke fear and instill dramatic urgency, as Spielberg hones in on the paranoia of the unknown, where the turgid waters of the ocean become a source of constant anxiety. This also works in favor of the great reveal later on, which forms the memorable crux of “Jaws.”

Villeneuve adopts a familiar formula in “Part One,” where the reveal feels cathartic due to the stunning attention to detail imparted to the worm designs, which Lambert also talked about at length in the interview linked above:

“There was a lot of effort early on to get the look of them right. There were all these amazing designs, but we also had to think about how to make the worms move and how they could turn. Then there’s the texture of the skin, which resembles solid plates with a soft mesh in between, sort of like an accordion…Denis wanted everything to be as grounded and as photoreal as possible. It meant coming up with techniques to make the best of the visual effects.”

According to Lambert, these effects were “complex to achieve,” but an expert blend of practical and computer-generated effects helped both “Part One” and “Part Two” transcend these limitations, with its sandworm scenes evoking a tangible sense of scale and spectacle amid the intense, layered human drama at the core of its being.

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