Thursday, October 09, 2014
31 Days of Halloween - Day 9 - Movie 1
A child murderer brings fear and suspicion to the city of Berlin, as the police, the citizens, and even the criminals try to uncover his identity before he can strike again. M (1931) may technically be more of a crime thriller than a horror movie, it is saturated with dread and terror. The opening sequence in which children play in the street while singing a gruesome rhyme about the murderer, and a mother anxiously waiting for her young daughter to come home, which she never will, is a masterful bit of filmmaking, particularly editing, building up the fear and anxiety of the mother as the murderer takes her daughter away to meet her fate. The rest of the movie is filled with such moments as the impact of the murderer causes the citizens to suspect anyone and everyone of being the killer, the police grow more and more frustrated at not being able to find him, and the criminal underworld decides that the killer must be caught because he's affecting their own trade, by bringing the police down on them instead. There's plenty of suspense here, and even though Peter Lorre portrays the killer with a layered performance, he features in very little screen time. His character's shadow however, blankets the entire movie. M is a true masterpiece.