Welcome to 50 first times; the movie-related post in which I watch, discuss and debate films that I’VE NEVER SEEN. I aim to work my way through 50 movies that I’ve previously missed/avoided, recording my thoughts along the way.
This collection of posts is a follow-up to 90 from the ’90s. However, while I previously focused on films from the 1990s, this time around I’m widening the field to cover any movie from any decade.
I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Today I’m watching…
The Dark Crystal (1982)
Now at this point you might be wondering why I’ve never watched The Dark Crystal. Well, truth is I have tried to watch the movie on two occasions previously.
The first time I attempted to watch the movie I believe I managed around ten minutes before I got bored. It was one of those times when I simply wasn’t in the mood to watch something quite like The Dark Crystal, so I probably shouldn’t have attempted it.
A few years passed and I decided to give it another go. So many people seemed to like it (and suggested I would like it too), so I figured it deserved another chance to grab my attention.
On my second attempt I progressed a little further with the film – I think I managed about 20 minutes – but unfortunately, my feelings didn’t change. I found it very slow going and I still couldn’t get into it.
After two failed viewings I figured that me and The Dark Crystal were just not meant to be. As much as I love the works of the late Jim Henson (Labyrinth, The Muppets etc), this is one of his pieces that just hasn’t connected.
So why am I attempting this film for a third time?
When I decided to work my way through 50 previously unseen movies I thought about what I wanted to watch. Amongst my list I had wiggle room to go back and watch films I had started but never finished. One of these was Starchaser: The Legend of Orin and the other was The Dark Crystal.
So, will it be third time lucky?
Let’s find out.
There is some seriously frightening stuff in this movie. Not only is the tone very dark, the Skeksis are gruesome!
Jeez, what are these weird beetle things?!
And what the heck is this dog thing with all the teeth?
OK, so nightmare fuel and creepy content aside, the level of detail in this movie is incredible. I can see why so many people admire it. I LOVE Labyrinth (the spiritual companion to The Dark Crystal) and always thought that film was packed full of detail, but I think this one goes even little further.
The Chamberlain scares me. I don’t know if he’s trustworthy or not. He claims to want peace, by terrifying the living crap out of everyone!
*A short while later*
The Chamberlain has just tried to kill Jen. I now know he’s not trustworthy.
I’m into the final twenty minutes of the movie and I can safely say:
a.) I’ve watched more of this film this time around than I ever have before.
b.) I can appreciate this movie on a technical level – it really is a stunning display of creativity.
Yes, I’m appreciating The Dark Crystal “on a technical level” because I’m still not really into it. However, I can totally see the appeal.
The Dark Crystal deserves the praise it receives. The skill and creativity on display in this film is outstanding and watching it takes me back to the fantasy films I watched growing up (Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Masters of the Universe, Krull etc).
I simply don’t think this is a film for me. Perhaps if I had watched this movie as a child I would have a deeper connection with it, but viewing it now as *cough* a 37-year-old *cough*, I’m not all that interested with it.
It might be the tone – it’s all very serious and perhaps I could do with a little humour to lighten the load. Then again, it may simply be me and I just don’t gel with it.
Either way, The Dark Crystal is a good movie and I understand why it has the fanbase it has, but it’s not one I will return to in a hurry. Sorry to all those Dark Crystal fans out there.
Seven movies down – 43 to go.
And should you want to check out the previous movies in this series, then take a look at my posts for Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985), Super (2010), When Harry Met Sally (1989), What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Shin Godzilla (2016), and Road House (1989).