The Dark Crystal (1982)
Too Dark For Me
Believing that he is the last survivor of the Gelflings, Jen sets out on a mission to uncover a shard from the Dark Crystal, a once powerful gem which brought balance to everything in the universe. But when the shard broke off the evil Skeksis took control of the universe by foul means.
As a kid I watched "Jaws" and it didn't really scare me yet when I sat down to watch "The Dark Crystal" it really unsettled me and I couldn't finish the movie. That is a very important point because as a teen I sat down to watch "The Dark Crystal" again, watched it to the end and disliked it immensely. I watched it again more recently and in truth I still disliked it but I appreciated it. And the thing is that I am not alone as friends who watched this as children also found it too dark for their liking yet enjoyed "Labyrinth" which came just four years later.
Here is the thing about "The Dark Crystal", it may have a PG certificate but this story is not aimed at children, it is for teens and whilst there is nothing really offensive in it the creepiness of the puppets is the stuff which might give young children nightmares. As such I reckon if I had been 15 when I first watched "The Dark Crystal" I might have been captivated by this adventure story a lot more and not bored as I was as a ten year old.
Now I could ramble on about the story but in many ways "The Dark Crystal" was always more than just a story, it was Jim Henson trying to push the boundaries and deliver something an audience had never seen done with puppets before and he comes extremely close. From a visual perspective "The Dark Crystal" is stunning and the creativity of the creatures, plants and landscapes is spectacular. There is so much going on visually in every scene I can see why many could fall in love with the movie. And it has to be said that the puppetry skills are also impressive due to the complexity of many of the scenes.
What this all boils down to is that "The Dark Crystal" is a movie which frankly I have never enjoyed as a piece of entertainment but these days can appreciate as not only an extremely creative movie but one which is a spectacular production with some brilliant puppetry work.
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