“Welcome to Jurassic Park.”
When I hear those words, I know I’m in for a ride. A ride that induces adrenaline and the chewing of my fingernails down to the bone. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration; however, I can chew them down pretty far.)
I remember watching Jurassic Park when I was six. That was back when my dad had a laserdisc player and an awesome stereo and my mom didn’t want me to watch it because it was too scary. Granted, it was scary, and I had nightmares for weeks that the T-Rex was out to get to me, but it became one of my most favourite movies.
Looking back on it now, the special effects are still remarkably relevant. If you look at other movies of the time, the effects are jerky and unpolished and very obvious.Jurassic Park was beautiful. Stan Winston and his studio created memorable movie monsters that didn’t look like stop-motion claymation. Which is why the terror seemed real later in the movie.
At the beginning, this scene always chokes me up. It’s the beauty before the storm and the awe or nature and what science can do.
Of course, it contains the most spine-tingling line in the movie franchise. The scene is also the perfect blend of beauty and acting and CGI and John Williams’ iconic score. It literally is there to induce shivers and tears of awe.
My other favorite scene is the sick Triceratops. It’s another feat for the filmakers that made me so flabbergasted. Besides the baby Velociraptor in the lab, this is the first time the stars have any interaction with the dinosaurs and I, truthfully, live vicariously through their reactions just like I do with the Brachiosaurus scene. I still do, really because it’s such a brilliant scene. Sam Neil and Laura Dern’s reactions were priceless, especially with Sam Neil laying on the belly of the dinosaur and feeling it breathe.
But, of course, the movie couldn’t stay hunky dory for long and that’s when my six-year-old self decided that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to have watched this movie. First it’s the T-Rex and then it’s the Velociraptors with (spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie. If you haven’t, shame on you. Go out and buy it now.) Mr. Arnold’s arm on Ellie Satler’s shoulder and the mind numbing, it-could-be-a-horror-film Raptors in the kitchen scene.
Seriously, watch this little bit and try not to freak out. I dare you.
If you’re still breathing, I suggest you watch the trailer, be amazed, and then watch the movie tonight in the dark like I will be doing because though the film came out twenty years ago (say what?) it’s still the most seminal dinosaur movie that has ever come out. It also started one of the greatest franchises ever. One that is still going strong.
Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Just remember, if you dream of dinosaurs tonight, that you can only run as fast as your partner can and if you don’t move, the T-Rex can’t see you.