okay, apologies to everyone in advance to everyone for the immense spamming of this thread for the next 30 days. i know i'm not a very good reviewer, but hopefully my enthusiasm for the genre will inspire some people to join in and see some movies this month.
last night i started my Halloween Horror Month with 2 films i'd never seen before, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
. while neither seemed much like a horror film as you would imagine it today, there were traces of things that were undeniably horror elements that would go onto create a genre. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
is usually credited with being the 'first horror film', and with the images i'd seen from the film over the years, my expectations were pretty high. the story is basically that of a Dr. Caligari who claims to have a sleepwalker who can tell the future and ends up sending him out to commit his heinous crimes. but all is not as it seems...
the movie, while being incredible visually, was just too (for lack of a better word) old.
by comparison the buster keaton films i watched a few days ago seemed as brand new as the latest brett ratner vehicle! so, while i could admire the film for its set design, and its attempt at telling a story as complex an idea as this in 1919, i could not ever fully engage in it as a viewer. unlike say, metropolis or nosferatu, which i could still watch and really enjoy, this felt like something that i should've seen in a museum (or a class in school). but maybe its because i watched the Image version when i know i should've gotten the Kino.... damn you netflix!Freaks
, director Tod Brownings infamous follow-up to Dracula, banned in several countries, and recently available on dvd... when the studio asked for a film more terrifying than dracula, i'll bet they didnt expect this. while not really a horror movie, the film is still shocking because they used 'real freaks'. the movie is about a traveling sideshow and a midget who falls in love with a (normal) woman who marries him because she learns of his fortune and plans to murder him. the bulk of the film is just a drama between these characters who are portrayed surprisingly human despite their abnormalities. it isnt until the film starts winding down that a real sense of terror is brought about. bizarre, but interesting.
so, overall two mild recommendations.