“I felt puny and absurd, a ludicrous midget”Review by Lewis Goodall
The Idea of being smaller Intrigues me. I know it would be a pain to have to climb onto a chair to sit on it but in the scheme of things I think there are a lot of positives. Meals seem bigger to you, clothes are cheaper because you can buy children’s clothing and the biggest plus of them all would be that you can be an adult and still get away with getting into wear’m’out.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN!!! Directed by Jack Arnold, is a classic film about… well you get exactly what it says on the tin really, the incredible shrinking man. Scott Carey (played by Grant Williams) is a regular sized man who encounters a strange mist while out to sea on a vacation with his wife, Louise (Randy Stuart). After the mist leaves glitter on his chest, he starts to notice that his clothes are starting to feel baggy on him. After some time Scott now has the stature of a 5 year old boy and continues to shrink. Reaching the size of a common mouse, Scott must survive in this new universe of which he used to call his basement.
I never knew a fear of mine would be shrinking. I’ve always found the idea quite amusing, I’d love to see what the world would be like if I was pocket sized but after seeing this film, I’m good, I’ve had my fill of what it would be like. Now this film came out in 1957 so as expected the technology of making a man small is not as clean as it would be now but my god for it’s time it’s a fine effort. Other than some dodgy green screen, the visual decline of Scotts size was done incredibly well. Some of it is green screen but for the majority of the time they actually created a set to make him appear smaller. Particularly in the early stages of the film when he is toddler sized, the set makes him look small with the use of oversized chairs and coffee tables to really sell the effect of him being a tiddlywink but without looking stupid. It was funny but I think that’s just because it was done well enough that this man actually looked like he was shrinking which really sold the idea of the film to me, I was invested in the shrinkage.
As he becomes smaller, it creates a strain on his relationship with his wife, naturally, quite hard to keep a relationship going with a man that lives in a dolls house in the loving room ( they could’ve still gotten intimate, he couldve still pleasured her by using her button like one of those speed ball boxing set ups). Trouble sparks when the household cat gets a sniff of him and he must run for his life. Now being the size I am now I’m confident I could take a cat in a fight, i could kick one pretty well, but seeing one that is 20x the size of me would be terrifying, this film made that a reality. Scott also has to face a spider which also freaked me the hell out. Considering the age I thought that all the encounters would be goofy but I genuinely felt tense during all of it and it was fantastic.
So visually this film is done tremendously for it’s time, there were a few moments where he was partly invisible due to the green screen but it didnt take away from the overal experience. The acting from everyone involved was pretty solid as well. What this film did though that I really wasnt expecting was that it ended with a really powerful and Inspiring message which is was not expecting. I guess minor spoilers so skip to the next paragraph for the overal but it ended basically by saying that he has accepted the fact that he is getting smaller and adapting to the world around him, and even though he may get smaller and smaller, in the end of the day, compared to the universe we are all small and insignificant. Even though we are small, we are still there, we are not nothing, we are here. I wasnt expecting this, I didnt think I would leave this film feeling better, feeling less insignificant.
Overal this film was way more than what I was expecting, I was going into thinking it was going to be a typical classic B movie but it was so much bigger than that. This is a classic film thatll stick with me and will definitely be watching again. Even though this film unlocked some fears within me that I didnt think I had, next time i see a cat that’s slightly too big then be sure I’ll be booting it as far away from me as possible.