Not every film is a fairytale. Not every good guy is going to save the day or get the girl. Not every princess will find her Prince Charming or be awakened by true love’s kiss and not every killer or monster is going to die by the end credits. This is part and parcel of modern cinema, when a happy ending is less assured than ever.
In some films, however, it isn’t the lack of a happy ending that distresses or worries some – it’s the messages and the morals that the film is portraying or glorifying. Just as not every film is a fairytale, not every film needs to have morals wrapped up in neat little packages – but that doesn’t stop some film’s messages or the events of the film suggesting something uncomfortable and sinister and which might have big ramifications for how people see them.
Here are our top ten movies with moral messages that are more than worrying…
10. King Kong (1934/2006)
The progenitor of monster movies, King Kong is a truly iconic character, the massive primate and his story is woven into the history of cinema as the first monster we surprisingly feel empathy for and root for against the human protagonists.
Kong, living on the mysterious Skull Island, is uncovered by an intrepid film crew hoping to film a cannibalism movie when their leading lady Ann Darrow is captured by ‘savages’ and offered as a sacrifice to Kong. Kong develops a love for her which leads to his own capture and imprisonment in New York City.
Ultimately, Kong is the true hero of his film and he always inspires much more sympathy than the film crew we’re meant to be rooting for. Morally, it shines a light on the darkest sides of humanity, the kidnapper and the hunter – when Kong tumbles from the Empire State Building, our hearts break a little as the true hero of the film passes away and feel disgust for the humans who brought him to Manhattan, something revolutionary for film.