The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera ★★★★

Hooptober 666: Features Lon Chaney

For reference, I watched the Eastman Print, which sacrifices ten minutes or so of runtime (which apparently causes a few continuity errors/plot holes, but I didn’t catch any) for the highest image quality, some synced opera singing over a few scenes and a really rad color sequence. And I have to say, though a lot of these technical aspects were not a part of the original 1925 cut of the film, they add so much to the already fun experience. I highly recommend this version of the film.

This film itself is properly thrilling and each scene is packed with either spooky terror or comedic relief. The third act turns a little generic and repetitive, but the acting is consistently top notch. This is my first Lon Chaney, and his pantomime villain schtick was such a delightful experience. The ending is also one of those classic monster movie endings where the day is saved, cue credits. No final kiss, no “‘Twas beauty that killed the beast” monologue, just a quick and efficient defeat sequence, and then THE END abruptly appears over the shot of the villain having gotten his comeuppance. But overall, it’s a nice, simple horror film with almost no flaws to speak of. And the flaws that do exist are easily embraceable as a part of its classic charm.