A Double Spook

As a fan of this fine film for many decades (yes, I saw it in its initial summer '75 release), I
have always been double spooked by the shark.

First, as someone who has always been drawn into the great story, I, like others, find the
shark's presence, both onscreen and suggested, as scary as anyone else. (Some modern-day
critics, reviewing the pristine Blu Ray, have suggested the new crisp transfer renders some
shots of "Bruce", the shark, unconvincing. I don't agree, and feel that good old fashioned
craftsmanship, as well as the use of the real ocean, create an effect far more realistic than
CGI could've ever produced).

But there's another layer of great (but fun) discomfort for me. I have a weird phobia about
anything MECHANICAL in water, ocean or otherwise. For instance, I have no issue being
in the ocean, or on a boat - I just wouldn't want to be in the ocean BESIDE the boat, or
worse - underwater beside it. I can't quite explain what I mean. What it boils down to,
is I would be supremely spooked out as a crew member being in the ocean with "Bruce",
what with his interior, creepy tubing, and that crane underneath. It would almost bother
me as much as being in the water with a REAL great white.

I have never met anyone else who quite gets what I mean, or shares the same spookiness.
Does anyone else here get what I mean? You couldn't pay me enough to be underwater,
operating that metal crane to get the fake shark up from the water. For what it's worth, I'm
genuinely spooked out by that scene of Hooper underwater - with the bright underwater
lighting - when the severed head rolls out. It's not JUST the head...it's his being underwater
with LIGHTING by the boat.

Final comment: I get the heebeejeebies from pool lights also. There's just something
very unnatural about a glass light underwater.

Anyone relate?


Pool light phobia after seeing Syriana 🙁


Forgive my ignorance, but what's Syriana?



2005 film with George Clooney and Matt Damon.


And it has to do with pool lights??


A scene does.


Worse, pool sweeps under water.

Google submechanophobia.

One of the worst images.



Yes, that is very unnerving.

I'm also not thrilled by shots of submarines, or people swimming in big studio water tanks.

Again, not a fear of drowning - I know how to swim - it's being in a big metallic bowl with lights and portholes.


Wow. Went on Youtube and watched a subscriber's compilation of still photos of the mechanical shark - in the
water, out of the water; with Spielberg, crew; suspended from the crane in the ocean.

And I got chills.

But then I checked out the comments section and realized I'm not alone. At least 15 different people stated
the same - that the "robotic" shark is scarier than a real great white. I found this very interesting. Thought I
was the only one. Nope. Many stated they could NOT be in the water with the mechanical shark, despite
the logical reality that nothing would hurt them. Curious.

I also found a website dedicated to people who have a phobia about pool lights. Again, thought I was the only
one. Bizarre.


Several years ago, when my daughters were about 15 and 12, we went to Universal Studios in Florida. We did all of the rides and attractions, but our favorite was the JAWS ride. (I’d ridden it back in 1983, bit it was quite different then.) After the ride was over I said to my girls, “Imagine if we were on that ride and something went wrong. The boat would sink and we’d have to swim to shore, knowing there are several of those monsters down there on rails, and we’d never know quite where they were until it was too late.”

Both my girls thought that was really, really scary...as did I. That just goes to show you the continued power of JAWS.


I have a phobia about sharks even a leopard shark in the water while I am swimming. There are sharks that people catch often, so it should not be a big deal. I haven't swam anywhere where there was a warning put up, i.e. I just haven't experienced it my lifetime. Has anyone else go where they had to think twice about swimming in the ocean or at the beach? There may have been warning signs even if the beach was not closed.

That said, the movie gets unsettling from the music and the guy scratching his nails on the chalk board. It slowly builds up the size of the creature which would have to be mechanical as a practical effect. Maybe practical effects affect us more than CGI effects. They do for me. Most of electrical lights in the pool is safe, so not the same. Your phobia was introduced in Syriana.