Wednesday, October 02, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 2 - Movie 2

I was surprised that I'd never watched The Wolf Man (1941) as part of my Halloween Countdown, at least not since I began documenting it here 8 years ago. I'm sure everyone knows the story of poor Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.) who is bitten by a werewolf while unsuccessfully trying to stop it from killing a woman. Everyone thinks that his mind has snapped because of the event after which no wolf is found, but the body of a gypsy fortune teller, beaten to death by Larry's silver handled cane, is. He starts behaving oddly, and as the town tries to track down the wolf that continues to kill, no one, except Larry, suspects that he's the wolf doing the killing.

Even though there are other Universal horror films from this period that are superior, this may be my favorite one. The tragic narrative, coupled with the very human story, makes for a riveting, intimate story. Chaney is fantastic, and the rest of the cast hold their own alongside of him making his ordeal all the more touching and believable. It has a great score, production design and the magnificent make-up effects of Jack Pierce to help make this one of the all time great horror movies.

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