Even without the low rumble of an approaching dinosaur, and the resulting ripple of the water in the cup, this simple image sends shivers through audiences who have witnessed Jurassic Park.
Anyone who has seen Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park will recognise this image of a plastic cup of water…and begin to shiver with fear. Perhaps not as visually exciting as the T-Rex in the “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” shot, the cup of water is significant because it is quintessential Spielberg. Like the shark in Jaws making its presence known by the der-der…der-der of John Williams’ score, or a fin breaking the surface of the ocean, Spielberg is one of Hollywood’s smartest directors when it comes to revealing the monster without actually revealing the monster. Here the cup of water, still and unmoved one second, rippling with the shudders of approaching dino-feet the next, Spielberg takes something familiar and injects into it his horrific fantasy. It makes for a threat we can feel, hear, touch, and ultimately believe in.
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