I believe that this is the finest of the Universal silent horror films. There is no question in my mind that this 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera still contains the most chilling unmasking scene in all of cinema… even after all of these years of movie-making, and with several attempts to imitate or improve upon the original.
Rupert Julian’s excellent pacing of the story-telling is one of the many successful elements in the film. Lon Chaney‘s masterful make-up techniques and theatrical acting provide “Erik” with the frightful and menacing characteristics that we find so believable. Amazing sets, lighting, and locations establish the crucial gothic gloominess (of the catacombs) and splendor (the opera house).
A true film classic… for Halloween, or any time of the year.
Cam Wilson is a slightly published writer, with bits of his work scattered across the web and in a book here and a magazine there. A lifelong movie fan, Cam has amassed a film collection that spans many genres, though the horror, science fiction, and fantasy categories fill the majority of his DVD shelves. Enjoy more of Cam’s writing at: http://ramblingsofarunner.blogspot.com/
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