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Jurassic World 3's Drive-In Scene Is A Throwback Moment To Classic Horror

Jurassic World: Dominion's new extended preview has revealed a bizarre scene involving a T-Rex and a drive-in theater that references classic horror. The preview was recently released as a special event during IMAX screenings of F9 and provided dino-loving audiences with a first extensive look at the Jurassic World sequel. While much of the hype surrounding the preview is focused on its unprecedented 65-million-year dinosaur flashback sequence and its first glimpses of the human characters, the sneak peek at the film's drive-in theater scene provides a look at what will likely be one of the film's most fun and memorable moments.

In the sequence, the camera pans over an outdoor gathering of cars in front of a giant movie screen. As the screen plays a classic ad for theater concessions, the ground begins to shake. The familiar shadow of a gigantic beast falls over the interior of an empty car, and the sounds of panic and fear begin to drown out the song playing on the screen. Finally, the projector's light illuminates the body of the iconic T-Rex from the original Jurassic Park. As the creature makes its way through the drive-in lot, chaos ensues. Cars are flipped over and crushed, the projector is destroyed, and people flee for their lives as the T-Rex lets loose a powerful roar.

Related: Jurassic World’s 7 New Dinosaur Species In Dominion’s IMAX Preview Explained

Despite only being a brief glimpse at what will surely be a longer sequence, this sneak peek at the film's drive-in scene is both thrilling and exciting—however, it's also a bit unusual. The idea of a massive T-Rex managing to sneak right in front of a movie screen without being noticed by anyone doesn't make a lot of sense, and the setting of a drive-in movie theater is also unusual. So what's the story behind this scene, and what purpose does it serve in the movie? The answer to those questions is simple: the scene is a fun throwback moment to the classic horror films of yesteryear.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, drive-in movie theaters were incredibly popular. Many sci-fi and horror films of the time were made specifically to be shown at these outdoor venues, and even films that played in traditional indoor theaters placed extra emphasis on interactivity and emersion. Films like 1965's Monsters Crash the Pajama Party featured moments where the film's mutant monster would seem to emerge from the theater screen before running past audience members in an attempt to frighten them. The effect involved little more than actors in cheap gorilla costumes grabbing people's shoulders, but the results were still memorable. The idea of a monster emerging from or through a theater screen soon became a trope, and before too long, it was being referenced in later films. 1993's The Sandlot famously features the film's antagonist, a giant dog known as "the Beast," crashing through a theater screen showing the 1941 horror classic The Wolf Man. Even 1996's Twister featured the film's titular force of nature ripping through a drive-in screen showing The Shining.

It's no secret that the Jurassic Park franchise owes a lot to classic creature features. Steven Spielberg has openly cited the old-school Godzilla films and the dinosaur movies of Ray Harryhausen as influences on the series, while Michael Crichton admitted that two drive-in dinosaur films were inspirations for the original Jurassic Park books. With all of this taken into account, it's easy to see the bizarre drive-in theater scene from the new Jurassic World: Dominion preview is actually a loving homage to the genres that inspired the franchise.

Even the two movies featured at the drive-in's double-bill are proof of this: Flash Gordon is a cult classic with all the hallmarks of a drive-in film, and American Graffiti was the first mainstream success from longtime Spielberg friend/collaborator, George Lucas. It's obvious that a great deal of thought went into this sequence, and if the rest of Jurassic World: Dominion features this same amount of care and fun, audiences will be in for a highly entertaining ride when the film hits theaters next year.

More: Jurassic Park: The Dinosaurs Are All Fake - Theory Explained

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