The first half of Jurassic Park is an idea story: what if we could bring back dinosaurs? As moviegoers, we desire to explore the ramifications of that. Here are some of the beats we get to explore:

  • When Dr. Grant arrives, in awe, we see the dinosaurs resurrected. Dr. Grant begins to match his theories to their behavior, something he never in his wildest dreams thought would be possible.
  • Next, we learn how it all was possible, how these dinosaurs were brought to life. Climaxed with being able to watch one in real-time hatching out of an egg.
  • Next, in horror, we watch a feeding; a raptor, in a blink, devour a cow.
  • Triggered by the fright, we begin to discuss the morality of having something that horrifyingly dangerous here.
  • Lastly, we summarized all of this with a grand tour of the park.

It’s a fun, carefree exploration. Never do we feel in danger.

Halfway through the movie, everything changes. The storm clouds slide in. Under the moon-light, the monsters are set free. Now we run. We run for our lives, verses something we can’t comprehend. And we spent the rest of the movie in fear and running, unable to do anything else.

I like this pacing, as it gives two different distinct emotions. The first is exploring and awing. The second is anxiety and dread.