The Monster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Monster Reviews

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December 7, 2014
Don't you dare call me mad!

A store clerk is approached by a beautiful maiden about some strange events going on at an insane asylum. The clerk is in the process of becoming a detective and decides to follow the maiden's nose of possible misdeeds. The clerk and maiden find a crazy, whacked out mad man that has strange creatures in cages that occasionally get out and cause havoc. Can the clerk and maiden bring the mad man down?

"Do you know who I am?"
"No."
"Neither do I?"

Roland West, director of Alibi, The Bat, Nobody, The Unknown Purple, Driftwood, The Bat Whispers, and Lost Souls, delivers The Monster. The storyline for this picture is actually very good and delivered in a mysterious and well paced manner. I loved how they rolled out the villain and the acting is very good. The cast includes Lon Chaney, Gertrude Olmstead, Hallam Cooley, and Johnny Arthur.

"I can't do anything until my detective diploma comes in...then I'll show them!"

I DVR'd this film off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) this past Halloween season. I am a huge Lon Chaney fan; but even as a fan, I was pleasantly surprised by his magnificent performance in this picture. His character was very unpredictable and well delivered. He kept the film intense and filled with drama. This is definitely a classic film worth your time.

"Sometimes he gets out...does terrible things..."

Grade: B+
November 1, 2014
One of the very first 'mad scientist' and 'old dark house' films. Aside from the precedents it set in style and camerawork, what is most interesting about this movie is that it was way ahead of its time. Genuinely frightening scenes are thrown off balance by horror shtick. Critics at the time found the humor in the movie to be incredibly puzzling. But the style is immediately recognizable to the Millennial movie fan, who is familiar with recent meta-horror and ironic horror from directors such as Wes Craven.
½ July 9, 2014
THE MONSTER is considered by many to be the first in a long line of Mad Doctor films. It is also a prime example of the Old Dark House genre of spook stories--Chaney is fun to watch in this oldschool monster farce!!
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2011
A generic "mad scientist" plot, and the ghoulish, hooded henchman is a more interesting villain than Chaney's own character. A film better suited for horror-movie historians than Chaney fans.
½ August 16, 2011
Entertaining but uneven silent comic chiller. The plot is pretty sloppy and awkwardly-paced, and Lon Chaney really isn't in it a whole lot. But there are a number of surprising oddball comic moments that keeps it moving. Not really a classic, but decent entertainment for cult movie fans.
January 17, 2011
Amazing movie. It's a bit like a demented combination of Sherlock Jr meets a mad scientist film. If anything, it could use ever more Lon Chaney.
February 23, 2009
i thought about the one with Charlize Theron... not some old school sg. :(
May 2, 2008
Quirky, unbalanced horror comedy. Johnny Arthur's stamp performance as a shy wannabe detective leaves little to be desired; Chaney (the mad scientist) also manages to shine, mostly through his huge presence. Olmstead, the woman, and Cooley, the competing suitor, both appear mostly out of place, displaying their emotions disjointedly and lacking the timing and consistency of both Chaney and Arthur.
Must have been one of Ed Wood's favourite films (see Bride of the Monster for evidence) and affected also other mad scientist & haunted mansion films later on.
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