16 / THE T-REX ATTACKS
JURASSIC PARK (1993)
On set, the T-rex was not exactly scary. The giant animatronic puppet kept breaking down from the rain machines and shedding teeth from gnawing on Ford Explorers. Yet as with Jaws, and its malfunctioning creature, Steven Spielberg and crew succeeded in turning an oversized hydraulic prop into a primal force of nature.
The build-up is masterfully prolonged: there’s the mewling goat, thumping footsteps, a quivering glass of water. Then a giant, reptilian claw tests the shut-down electric fence and we’re off to the races. As the humans peer at the lumbering beast through car windows, like visitors to Woburn Safari Park on a really bad day, Spielberg’s genius is in largely keeping us trapped in the vehicles with them, cutting wide to showcase ILM’S incredibly convincing CG Rex. It’s a thunderously intense set-piece, made more so by the fact that the film’s score drops out for its entirety. Maybe John Williams was hiding in a toilet.