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How AHS Red Tide Paid Tribute To A Memorable Jaws Scene

AHS: Red Tide has continuously slipped in references and connections to Jaws, with the finale paying homage to a memorable town hall scene.

American Horror Story season 10’s seaside locale has led to several Jaws references, including a clear homage to a famous scene from the movies during Red Tide’s finale. The Jaws connections to American Horror Story: Red Tide began when it was first teased that one part of the season would take place at the water. Fan theories for Red Tide’s creatures were likened to Jaws’ small town being terrorized by sharks, though many suspected the AHS twist would mean a humanoid shark creature like in the teasers.

Just when audiences suspected sharks could come into play with bodies washing up on shore, AHS: Red Tide makes its creatures vampires. Playing on the fan theories, the season still includes a few explicit nods to Steven Spielberg’s 1975 horror phenomenon, such as Mickey (Macaulay Culkin) saying Jaws 2 was bad and that Jaws’ character Quint was the villain and the shark was the hero. American Horror Story season 10’s premiere episode also included a nod to flipping Amity Island’s conflict when Provincetown’s pathologist himself suggests that sharks could have been the killers.

Bringing the Jaws tribute full circle, AHS: Red Tide features a scene with the town council that pays tribute to an identical scene in Jaws where the council shoots down the new police officer’s worries. An outside State Trooper arrives at American Horror Story’s town hall to address the discovery of Chief Burleson’s body and other mysterious occurrences, where the council quickly shuts down her worries and downplays the severity of the murders. The policewoman is adamant about investigating what happened as a possible homicide, while the Red Tide characters brush the death off as due to night swimming or getting caught in boat propellers. This is exactly what happened in Jaws’ town hall scene, where the new Chief Brody wanted to bring attention to the recent death in the waters and the council downplays the dangers and blames it on night swimming and boating accidents.

In the Jaws scene, Quint suggests they pay him to catch and kill the shark because otherwise, the town will “be on welfare the whole winter,” which is the exact reason why American Horror Story’s town doesn’t want an investigation of the death. Both towns survive on the tourist dollars from the spring and summer to keep themselves at bay during the winter, which is when Red Tide’s vampires are allowed to feed. The mayor in Jaws overrules Chief Brody’s suggestion of closing down the beaches because they can’t lose the tourism dollars, which is the same reasoning Denis O’Hare’s AHS character gives to the policewoman.

Red Tide’s explanation for not investigating the death is also supported by them needing talented individuals like Belle Noir and Austin Sommers to have winter homes in town, whose notoriety boosts tourists wanting to stay during the summer. American Horror Story’s full-time residents need to allow the famous vampiric people to get away with their kills during the winter because otherwise, they won’t come to stay anymore, then decreasing Provincetown’s popularity during the summers. Jaws’ town doesn’t have any deal with letting the sharks kill swimmers, but it needs to keep the beaches open because that’s the prime reason people come to Amity Island in the first place.

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