The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man ★★★★

"The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet, like the closing of a gigantic circle."

Jack Arnold's 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' is a surprisingly harrowing and gripping sci-fi thriller, the "shrinking man" film done right, not with comedy and goofball antics but with real world predicaments and terror for someone who finds themselves merely an inch or two tall and grappling with unspeakable horrors in the process. Grant Williams is fabulous and handsome in the titular role, a man who seemingly has everything but soon finds himself a medical curiosity, a human-science experiment hybrid that has garnered the rude intrigue of the world.

Once the science fiction elements take hold, the film becomes impressive due to its technical and visual trickery - unique camera angles to hide real heights, oversized props utilized to make Williams' Scott seem merely feet tall. Soon, he finds himself under a foot tall, living in a dollhouse - it sounds comical but it's handled in such a grounded and serious manner, it's impressive. This is when the danger sets in - house cats and spiders suddenly become the most treacherous predators afoot and a simple basement leak is the equivalent of a tsunami. Arnold and co. play with the surroundings and decor so well, you easily forget it's a '50s production utilizing simple tricks to fool audiences. This one's real fun, occasionally horrifying and very, very exciting.

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