Even though we're mostly used to new content dropping on the various streaming services at the start of the month Netflix has managed to make a major acquisition in the middle of September. Previously confirmed in their monthly announcement, Netflix is now the streaming home for one fan-favorite horror franchise, all four movies in the Jaws film series. Previously streaming on NBCUniversal's own Peacock it's unclear why the shark thrillers have jumped ship to a new home but as of this writing you can now stream Steven Spielberg's Jaws, the 1978 sequel Jaws 2, 1983's Jaws 3-D, and 1987's final entry Jaws: The Revenge.
Though the Jaws franchise isn't perhaps what fans think of when they imagine movies to watch for October's spooky season, the series is still very much in the horror genre. Arguments could be made for an adventure/thriller label, particularly for the first movie, but anyone that has been subjected to the follow-ups would no doubt argue that they were made specifically as cheap cash-ins by the studio, most of which fell into trappings of horror movie sequels of the era.
For those perhaps not familiar with Spielberg's 1975 original film, Jaws tells the tale of a small island town besieged by a giant, killer shark (made worse by political incompetence). Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, and Lorraine Gary, Jaws put Spielberg on the map as a filmmaker (only his second theatrically released feature film) and became a box office smash earning over $470 million worldwide on a $9 million budget. The film's success would go on to spawn these sequels as well as theme park rides, video games, and more.
Jaws 2 would arrive three years after Spielberg's classic was released, taking place some years later, and would feature the return of Scheider as Chief Brody with, you guessed it, another giant, killer shark. Jaws 3-D would move the action to a Florida theme park with Dennis Quaid taking on the role of Mike Brody, the oldest son of Scheider's character. The final film, Jaws: The Revenge, moves its setting to the Bahamas (while also technically a Christmas movie).
Even though the three sequels to Jaws have little staying power in a cultural context, living in the shadow of the first movie is a tremendous task, the marketing for the movies have arguably left a bigger foot print than the films themselves. Jaws 2 was promoted with the often parodied tagline "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." while Jaws: The Revenge's tagline, "This Time It's Personal," is more memorable than the movie.
Despite rumblings every few years about something happening with the Jaws franchise, a recent report revealed that Spielberg gave a firm "no" to an ask from Universal about making a new film. For the time being, and perhaps for the foreseeable future, it'll just be these four, and if you haven't experienced them you can find them all on Netflix now.