Jurassic Park: The Lost World is an altogether darker film than its predecessor and Spielberg plays on this by making smart references to Jurassic Park in a key sequence from The Lost World.
During the T-Rex’s attack on the trailer that Nick van Owen, Sarah Harding and Ian Malcolm are tending to its baby in, Spielberg repeats four key shots from Jurassic Park to put us in mind of the film and distance this sequel from it.
1. The T-Rex looks into the car through its window. In Jurassic Park, it looks at Lex; in The Lost World it looks at Eddie Carr.
2. Attempting to force its way into the car, the T-Rex attacks through the sunroof.
3. A vehicle ends up suspended precariously. In Jurassic Park, Alan Grant has to save Tim from the tour car while it’s dangling in a tree; in The Lost World Ian, Sarah and Nick are in the truck as the T-Rex pushes it over the edge.
4. Characters hang over a precipice. In Jurassic Park, it’s Alan and Lex; in The Lost World it’s Ian and Sarah.
Both scenes have two major deaths, with the lawyer Gennaro dying in Jurassic Park and Eddie dying in The Lost World. But whereas Gennaro, a dislikeable figure who abandoned Tim and Lex when the Rex attacked, dies comedically on the toilet, Eddie, a good character, is ripped in half in a scary and disturbing way.
By reminding us of Jurassic Park with callbacks to such iconic moments in the film, and then twisting things by having a death that unsettles us, rather than makes us laugh, Spielberg is gently preparing us for the darkness to come.
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