The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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Decades later, it still retains its ability to scare -- and Lon Chaney's performance remains one of the benchmarks of the horror genre.
All Critics (46)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (42)
| Rotten (4)
| DVD (4)
The atmosphere matches Chaney's performance perfectly. His grotesque appearance is achieved with wires, cotton balls, and eye-dilating chemicals, but his character, as usual, is animated from within.
Lon Chaney's performance as the hideous organist prowling the sewers beneath the Paris Opera is still a cornerstone of gothic horror.
A grand, pulpy potboiler of a suspense melodrama.
Though Mr. Chaney wears a more grotesque make-up than ever, the film play seems only pretty good.
The main inducement to watch remains Chaney's tragic, ineffably sad figure.
Kerry is a colorless hero, Philbin contents herself with being pretty and becoming terrorized at the Phantom, and Chaney is either behind a mask or grimacing through his fiendish makeup.
However, again the standout piece of the film remains to be Chaney. He appears maniacal from the word go, even as we're introduced to him as a silhouette.
Art at any cost
Still pretty darn creepy after almost an entire century.
The best of the small population of pure horror films made in the United States during the silent era.
An eerie mixture of poetry, gothic melodrama and a surreal Feuillade-style serial.
Despite outdated acting techniques and staging, this is a must-see for all cinema buffs, as make-up genius Lon Chaney's Phantom is a Hall of Horror landmark.
Lon Chaney is so incredibly expressive that he makes the rest of the film's cast look lifeless in comparison. Along with the incredible make-up job, Chaney brings out the un-predictable behavior and confused nature of the title character. He was truly one of the quintessential silent actors. Not only is Chaney's turn as the Phantom incredibly memorable, the film's sets are also something to behold. The production value shows off the big budget that was spent on this movie, especially with sets like the ballroom, grand opera house, and the Phantom's dark dungeon. During the ballroom sequence the movie mysteriously turns into color for a brief time, which does a great job in highlighting the Phantoms red costume. A huge hit in its initial release, "The Phantom of the Opera" set the standard for other Universal horror flicks to come. The film may not be able to scare as much as it did back in 1925, but it still retains a fun chilling atmosphere throughout. A definitive silent horror classic.
Well, at least I can say I have seen the original now.
Remember that musical you grew up with that was made into a pretty good movie by a pretty bad director? This is that but without all the good music, pretty girls, or characteristic mask.
I guess the reason this is considered a horror classic is Lon Chaney's ugly face; he's got a big, toothy sneer, and he moves like an animated skeleton. Maybe I've seen too many modern horror films in which the makeup effects are so advanced that they put the older stuff to shame, but no effect registered in me during Chaney's famous reveal scene.
More to the point, the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice version turns Christine's ultimate rejection of the Phantom into a question of the seduction of darkness versus the purity of Raoul's romantic affection, evidenced by the first lines of "All I Ask of You": "No more talk of darkness; forget these wide-eyed fears; I'm here." In this version, Raoul struts and prances like he's constantly posing for a bronze to be erected at the entrance of the theater, and his attachment to Christine is more about possession than affection.
And I think we're to understand that The Phantom's ugly exterior is supposed to be evidence for an uglier interior that Christine discovers once she sees his face. Of course, it's true that The Phantom is truly unhinged, dropping chandeliers on people and drowning invaders of his underground hideaway, but Christine's judgment of his seems premature and superficial. Even though it's true that I rarely see hot women with men that ugly, as far as the story is concerned, Christine comes off as unlikable - to the film's detriment.
Overall, this is a case in which the remake is much better than the classic.
This is the second Phantom movie I've seen the first was the 40s version, and I liked this movie a lot better. The story is clearer, the phantom is creepier, and it's more exciting. It does get to feel a little long towards the end, because it says it's only 70 some minutes, but the version I saw was over 100 minutes. At least in this one you don't have to listen to the opera singers. Overall, a really good movie, I enjoyed it.
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