Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Terrifying Jurassic Park Scene That Stuck With Ariana Richards

The original "Jurassic Park" tells an outlandish story that's grounded in reality, laying a strong, almost fossil-like foundation for what would become a full-fledged franchise. The movie explores themes like the unpredictability of evolution, the consequences of greed, and impetuous scientific discovery, confronting the audience with the delicate balance of the natural world as the characters reckon with forces beyond their control. The dinosaurs are just an added bonus. The plot is elevated by captivating performances from the entire supporting cast, led by Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm. The characters' innate likability allows viewers to immediately connect with them, making the stakes that much higher when their situation takes a turn for the worse.

The movie also features Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello as Lex and Tim Murphy, respectively, park owner John Hammond's (Richard Attenborough) grandkids. As children, they serve as the park's target audience within the narrative, though this tactic quickly backfires when the dinosaurs get loose. Their wide-eyed wonderment soon turns to horror, and the young actors fully commit themselves to each scene. Besides the impending threat of being eaten, the film's main conflict centers around Alan, Lex, and Tim's attempts to reach safety after the park's security system is deactivated. According to Richards, working on the film was an incredibly memorable experience, though the making of one action-packed sequence stands above the rest. 

Tim and Lex are cornered by the Tyrannosaurus Rex

A pivotal moment in "Jurassic Park" is the first appearance of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The characters are in the middle of an underwhelming tour when the power shuts off, allowing the fearsome dino to escape from its enclosure. Abandoned by Hammond's lawyer, Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), the kids begin to panic as the creature closes in on them. Brought to life by a skillful combination of special effects, the Tyrannosaurus rex is a formidable antagonist (via TIME). In the bone-chilling moment when the dinosaur sees them through the car window, narrowing its gaze on its chosen prey, it's hard to separate fantasy from reality. In a 1993 interview with Katie Couric, Richards revealed that the scene was just as nerve-wracking to make as it is to watch.

"I think the whole thing was really an adventure to shoot and there were a few scary parts," Richard recalled (via YouTube). "I always remember the scene with the T. Rex where Joe and I are in the jeep and we have like this plastic bubble over us and the T. rex is smashing down on us and it's biting this thing and we're screaming."

Thankfully, the kids had something tangible to react to. The Tyrannosaurus Rex, a hydraulically powered animatronic, was so lifelike that it scared the cast and crew even when the cameras were off (via Entertainment Weekly). It's no wonder that interacting with it sticks out in Richards' mind.