Kong: Skull Island continues to be one of those big 2017 movies that has a lot of people asking questions and generally becoming filled with anticipation. Set during the Vietnam War era, the movie follows a group of explorers and soldiers who journey to the title land mass and have an encounter with a whole range of prehistoric monsters, including the infamous Kong. It’s the first movie set in the Kong universe since Peter Jackson’s King Kong in 2005 and if it succeeds it could lead the way to more movies starring the giant ape and his fellow monsters.
One thing folks want to know, after viewing the first couple trailers and some images, is what kind of tone Kong: Skull Island will have. Will it be a dark, terrifying monster movie or will it strike a note more along the lines of Jurassic World, a movie that thrilled lots of people – but wasn’t exactly what you would call scary.
Skull Island star Corey Hawkins actually discussed the movie’s tone at TCA’s Fox session (via Collider) and gave an interesting answer. According to Hawkins, who also is set to appear in the upcoming 24: Legacy, the journey to Skull Island won’t be all darkness and horror:
“The tone of the movie is the tone of the set. There were serious undercurrents of shooting this film, and then there was shooting with these guys — you’ve seen the cast — it was one of those journeys. And I got to work with Jason Mitchell again, which was in [Straight Outta] Compton with me, and it was one of those journeys where we got the opportunity to find the light moments. It can’t be all serious at all times, and I think in our darkest moments you have to find the humor and the lightness. I think that’s something with Eric Carter that we’re finding on [24: Legacy], where it’s a little different from the 24 that we knew. I mean, there’s not a lot of time for humor, but sometimes humor is necessary to get you through. It’s honest.”
Thanks to this week’s big toy reveal we have a better sense of what Skull Island will look like, especially the monsters that live there, but we still don’t know what kind of overall tone the movie will have. The first trailer certainly made it seem like Skull Island will be mostly a dark, scary affair, but then the second trailer came along and suggested maybe the tone isn’t so relentlessly heavy after all.
You certainly can have a monster movie with lots of humor and lightness, as Jurassic World proved, but the question is how light you want that tone to get. Some were disappointed that Jurassic World tended toward the schlocky and arguably wasn’t as intense as earlier Jurassic Park movies, while others (many others, judging by the movie’s box office) were more-than-happy to be treated to a relatively non-terrifying dino-experience.
No doubt Kong: Skull Island will have a few moments where the tension subsides and some humor and lightness are able to get in, but considering the setting and the subject matter, one has to assume the film will also feature more than its fair share of pulse-pounding moments. We all get to ride that ship to Skull Island and find out how dark and horrifying things get (or don’t get) when the movie opens in March.