King Kong

King Kong ★★★★½

Halloween Horror Extravaganza: Day 2

I generally try my hardest to put myself in the mindset of a person watching a film within the time and cultural landscape of its original release. In the case of King Kong, I found I didn't have to try very hard.

As much as you could make obvious cynical and childish complaints about how the gorilla doesn't look real at all or that the picture and sound quality aren't great by today's standards, none of that matters, because as soon as you remember that this was made 83 years ago, you realise what an amazing achievement this film is.

The jerky stop-motion movement of Kong and the dinosaurs actually feels like more of a stylistic thing nowadays, rather than a hindrance of the time. Within the world in which this movie takes place, these beast feels entirely natural. I think that in large part is due the rear screen projection and compositing being so seamless, making you feel like the actors are really inhabiting the same space aso Kong.

The plot is a little thin and the characterisations are barely there, but this is first and foremost a spectacle film, and an entirely successful one at that.