The Monster: A Silent Film First

Still from The Monster (1925) © Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. Image Source: History of Horror.

Tonight's offering is the silent film, The Monster (1925). It is 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. The scene opens when a couple get waylaid while driving at night in the countryside. They run to a nearby lunatic asylum for help and are held captive there by the mad scientist, played by Lon Chaney.

Genuinely frightening scenes are thrown off balance by horror shtick. Critics at the time found the humour 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. You can see The Monster below the jump. It was directed by Roland West and is his oldest surviving film.
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