After four tries, I finally got to see Return of the King today. It seems living in a small town of 30k people that only has one cineplex showing the movie on a single screen makes for many sold out shows.
The showing I caught was turned up really loud and at several points I was terrified by the action. The first couple hours were scarier than any horror movie I’ve seen. I haven’t read the books, so I can’t remember the names of them (were they modors from azkiban or raelians from babbiton?), but those giant flying pterodactyl things with the guy from Scream riding them were really scary. Whenever they flew over the crowd I felt like an 8 year old wanting to bury my face in my hands and leave the theater, totally terrified.
It also struck me how epic the whole journey was and I wondered why I’ve never heard of Tolkien re-enactment groups, since the whole thing felt so Civil War-ish. A quick search on google reveals there actually is a Middle Earth Historical Reenactment Society and a House of Cardolan group that specializes in these sorts of things.