Despite the two sequels often garnering more than its fair share of criticism, it would be rather difficult to argue against the fact that there are some truly iconic and memorable moments within the whole Jurassic Park trilogy.
From the dinosaurs stampeding their way into our memory banks, to some unforgettable instances of human interaction and sheer terror, this is one franchise that has delivered on a large scale in terms of undeniably great moments.
Here is a rundown of the main sequences that had us on the edge of our seats and praying for yet more dinosaur shenanigans in the future.
Ever since the closing moments of the original movie, fans of Jurassic Park craved a taste of a species of dinosaur that would soar and swoop through the air, causing yet more danger and demanding an extra level of awareness from the characters involved.
That finally came in the lackluster Jurassic Park III as the Pterodactyl finally made its bow among the plethora of land creatures having previously been introduced. One particular scene that stamped this particular dinosaur’s mark involved a mist-covered scenario that saw the main characters in the midst of danger within the Pterodactyl’s very own bird cage.
With young Erik swept off his feet and captured by the winged creature, it takes a heroic Billy to take flight with his parachute and save the kid, only to have his own life taken. It’s a gripping scene that utilises the surroundings perfectly with a build up of immense dread, before unleashing a gripping moment within the air.
In one of the most iconic and excruciatingly tense scenes within the original masterpiece of Steven Spielberg’s, we witness game warden Robert Muldoon (Bob Peck) stalk his prey within the jungle of Isla Nublar. Having caught sight of his target, a velociraptor within the undergrowth, Muldoon carefully prepares his weapon for attack, only to find that he is in fact the prey.
The hunter has been cleverly coaxed into a false sense of security and lured into a trap, as another raptor has him marked for death. Uttering the words, ‘Clever girl’, the hunter realises that he has been caught unprepared and fails to adjust to his new target before being viciously attacked and killed.
Few moments have been as visceral as this, especially towards a characters whose cool and calm exterior is met with nothing but positivity from the audience. The scene is only heightened in brilliance by the parting shot of a snake slithering across a piece of branch, only to be met by the watchful eye of the originally marked raptor.
Dieter Stark’s demise
Sometimes it’s the smaller dinosaurs who can pose the biggest threat, especially when it comes to a large group of them. That was made all too obvious when Peter Stormare’s Dieter Stark fell foul of the initially harmless-looking compsognathus’, only to find that they possessed a fair level of bite.
Having used his hunting skills to fend off the pesky creatures with his cattle prod, it looked like Stark had managed to fend off his foes in his search for his fellow hunters, but he wouldn’t win that easy. In a scene that is brilliantly poised, we follow the camera from the view of the smaller dinosaurs, with Stark on his heels, unable to gain an advantage.
What follows is a painful watch, as one-by-one these dangerous green lizard-like animals bite and nip their way into the hunter’s skin, only for him to jump over a tree bark and the painful screams of his slow death reverberate through the lush jungle.
The sight of his blood flowing through the running water within the jungle is yet another reminder of the harsh dangers lurking within the Lost World.
Raptor Kitchen Chaos
When it comes to a sense of dread, Jurassic Park nailed it with its use of youngsters Tim and Lex Murphy, blissfully dropping them into situations of utter terror time after time. One such instance comes towards the conclusion of their stay at Jurassic Park where they find themselves hiding in a kitchen after feasting on some tasty green jelly and treats in the park foyer.
Their lives at stake, the pair have to outwit a number of velociraptors whose keen eye for a taste of human flesh and strong sense of smell make this a thrilling and undeniably nail-biting sequence. With no adults around to guide them, the children must use their own wit and bravery to navigate this hellish of scenarios.
Spielberg’s direction of this scene is impeccable, creating a maze within the kitchen in which these two youngsters have to navigate for survival. The menacing sound of the raptors’ dangerous claws meeting the hard floor with every step, the sudden strike of a ladle accidentally knocked to the floor; this is tension at its finest and provides yet more memorable minutes within the classic film.
Poor Tim and Lex find themselves in the thick of it for the first time within their grandfather’s park when the torrential rain falls and the mightiest of all the dinosaurs escapes his prison. By far the most famous and incredible scenes in Jurassic Park comes when the youngsters are trapped within the confines of their JP jeep and the T-Rex searches for his next meal.
Spielberg’s keen eye for making the audience squirm is undoubted and when he puts such helpless characters in the way of danger it simply screams supreme brilliance. The elements within this scene are exceptional; the harsh weather setting the tone for things to come, the gradual escape of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, with the devoured goat and eventual destruction of the fencing – this is slow and excruciating terror unfolding.
It only escalates when the dinosaur begins to work on the jeep, with the children’s screams and unawareness of the factors that attract the gulfing beast adding to the panic levels. Continuing to grip and strike with a scare factor, this is a moment to be watched through the fingers and earmarks the brutal nature and exceptional level that such a film sets among the cinematic realms.