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Default What I've Been Watching: The Catch-All Film Thread

October 23rd, 2006, 04:23
I watch many films, and I love nothing more than to blab about them. I watch alot of weird old stuff as well as newer films, so many of these will not be immediately recognizable. So here's my running cinematic journal of rants and raves, please comment or add your own if you feel so inclined.

The Old Dark House (1932)
In the 20's and 30's there was a genre of spooky films known as the "Old Dark House" films. This film is typical of the genre conventions even by virtue of it's very title, but unlike others that I've seen such as "Cat and the Canary", this film is actually sorta disturbing and scary. Believe it or not a film from the 1930's can be creepy, trust me.
People seek shelter from a horrible storm in the titular house, but they soon find that it's filled with dangerous eccentrics. Far from some sort of "scooby-doo"-like affair as most of these old spooky house films tend to be, this one is different. Instead of centering on fraudulent man-made spooks for this reason or that, or contrived plot of keeping some "insane" innocent relative locked up in order to get at some inheritance or some such nonsense, this place is instead just turns out to be populated by some truly bizarre and haunting characters. They are just there, seemingly forgotten in isolation, until the main characters enter their decepit and insane world. As the night goes on, they become not only weirder yet, but dangerous, then the real weirdos are trotted out!

This is the earliest example of a "forgotten family" film I've ever seen, the precursor to such bizarre films as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and what have you. Yes it's sorta clunky at times, as these old films tend to be light on implication and suggestion, but there's also a good deal of suprisingly nice camerawork and subtle lighting touches that make it just creepy! Suprisingly funny at times as well, this is one is just good fun to watch on a rainy night IMHO.
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