Is Jurassic Park Actually Sci-fi/Horror?

It’s hard to believe that Jurassic Park was released over thirty years ago! And yet, the movie stands high above its predecessors in both story and visual effects. It’s quite a landmark film that sent shockwaves through the film industry.

Yet, what actually IS Jurassic Park?

Some may say it’s an action adventure story about getting trapped in a dinosaur theme park. Yet, others may point to it as a thriller as the small band of characters are picked off one by one. For me, the answer is clear. Jurassic Park is a science fiction horror story.

You may raise an eyebrow or two, but I’m here to tell you, raise it even higher because that’s what Jurassic Park actually is.

The Movies

Okay, there have been lots of Jurassic Park movies so I need to set some boundaries. I’m referring to the original Jurassic Park movie released in 1993 and not any of the subsequent movies. While the Jurassic World movies very timidly dips its toes into science-fiction, those movies are primary action adventure movies.

Honestly, I enjoy almost all of the Jurassic Park/World films with my least favorite of the batch being Jurassic Park 3, released in 2001. Thankfully, that movie inspired a brilliant Honest Trailers review. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

Also note, I’m just talking about Jurassic Park film as opposed to the much superior book of the same name. That book is both brilliant and foretelling. It was written by Michael Crichton and you should put it to the top of your “must read” list.

Michael Crichton passed away in 2008, and yet his estate are still releasing “unpublished” books on his computer. This reminds me of the Tom Clancy situation whereby Clancy has “released” more books after his own death.

The Argument

First off, it’s very easy to think of science fiction as taking place on spaceships and everything is all future. As long as it happens in “the future”, it’s sci-fi, right?

Um, no. Most popular science-fiction is really just fantasy because there is no basis in science. In Star Wars, lightsabers work by some magic crystal and ships make noise in space. This is fine and entertaining. But not science-fiction. Firefly is a re-telling of the post Civil War based on the incredible book, The Killer Angels. Ships are magic transport devices. Again, very entertaining but not sci-fi.

World’s dopiest Jurassic Park scientist demonstrates the harvesting of DNA

Jurassic Park is science fiction. The central premise is growing dinosaurs from fragments of DNA captured from mosquitos millions of years ago. The film goes into great lengths of the process. While the techniques presented in the movie are actually impossible (DNA can barely last a thousand years; never mind sixty seven million years), the movie was based on science at the time.

The movie also goes into great length – not about the dangers of reconstituted dinosaurs – but the dangers of rich people looking to capitalize on the technology without understanding fully it. Sound familiar?

The movie portrays John Hammond as a sweet grandfather, but in the books, he’s a ruthless bastard.

As for the horror, the movie starts by explaining the process of being eaten alive by dinosaur. Then for next two hours, you get to see various people actually eaten alive. While much of the action is off-screen, the impact is still raw and visceral.

Sound Off

How do you feel? Did I get it right? Is Jurassic Park a science fiction horror film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

At the end of the day, Jurassic Park is an excellent movie that still holds strong. Just do yourself a favor and the read book. While I won’t it was the best science fiction read of the last century, I will say it stands among them.

By Brian Moakley

Brian Moakley is a writer and technologist who lives amongst the quiet hills in New England. When not reading tales of high adventure, he is often telling such stories to all who will listen.

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