31 Days of Hallowe’en 2021, Day 19: Night of Terror [1933]

I’m really bad with obscure classic films like Night of Terror. Yes, it stars the legend Bela Lugosi, but not everything he did was golden.

Night of Terror (1933) - IMDb
source: imdb

Night of Terror, which would not qualify now as a feature film, is just over an hour long (so less than a kdrama), concerns a group of people in and around a small estate that finds themselves terrorised (very slowly and very sporadically) by a killer who doesn’t ever kill on screen but gurns a lot and displays a profuse need for soap. He also looks like a friend of mine. If you’re reading this friend: Fuck you for making me watch this when I could have introduced you to Strangers From Hell. You haven’t even fucking watched Squid Game yet, you zeitgeist-less fuck.

It’s impossible for me to evaluate whether or not I really like this because I can’t relate to the style it’s using that seems typical of smaller films of its era: long, drawn-out scenes with minimal music and editing; actors ranging the gamut in their performances from theatre wannabe to day player to “please put me in a better film”; awkward racial black/brown-facing that, honestly, I’m still seeing arguments for. I guess it’s cool to be a fucking idiot in terms of progress.

I watched this virtually with a friend and, after just one utterance of the word ‘maniac’, I joked that we each had to take a drink each time someone repeated said word. Fuck me, I was not expecting to down a beer that fast. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking soju that night (for once).

I think I can enjoy this for its scrapbook of what horror films were like of that era, and how they might have been scary to moviegoers back then. That said, I did enjoy the fourth-wall-break when the killer threatened me not to disclose his identity or he’d reach through the screen and tear me limb from limb. Vintage Sadako!

Score: 🎃🎃

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