First Ever Freak the Geek: Hitchcock's Influence on Jurassic Park

Young Steven Spielberg
When you sign up to become a Patron, you'll get the chance to break my brain. It's called "Freak the Geek" and here's how it works: you feed me the name of a Hollywood movie and I describe Hitchcock's influence on it. Any. Movie. You. Want.

For the first installment, Patron Ben Forsberg challenged me to explain Hitchcock's influence on Steven Spielberg's 1993 classic Jurassic Park. I found at least FIVE—though I'm sure there're more!

First off, Jurassic Park is what’s known in the biz as “creature features”—a genre that’s been around for decades, but which Hitchcock completely reinvented with The Birds. In may ways, Jurassic Park picks up where that movie left off, such as by using extensive POV editing to reveal the characters' emotions.

Another thing: did you know that Spielberg may be a bigger Hitchcock geek than me? One day in 1965, a teenage Spielberg finagled his way into the Universal Studios and snuck onto the set of  Torn Curtain. He was that committed. I could only dream of making such a move. One of Spielberg’s first directing jobs was on the very first episode of Columbo, titled “Murder by the Book.” Hitchcock’s influence on that whole series—and Spielberg’s approach to that episode in particular—run quite deep, and I’ve written an article about it.

Anyway, check out my "Freak the Geek" video and see what Hitchcock touches I found in Jurassic Park:


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Great news! I'm now producing Alfred Hitchcock Geek as a video series. Combining a lifetime of scholarship with film sequences, rare behind-the-scenes clips, interviews with Hitch himself and more, I'm doing my part to bring Hitchcock studies into the 21st century while building a community that thinks more expansively about film, art and maybe life itself. It's a huge undertaking, and I can't do it alone. Check some of the videos out—I'd be honored to receive your support!