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Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

What I loved about this film compared to some of the other older horror films is that we are almost immediately introduced to the creature from the black lagoon and it was actually somewhat intimidating. One thing that I find happens often in older horror films is that the writers and directors avoid revealing the monster(s) until the very end to build suspense. This, however, often turns me off to the film because it, in all honestly, causes the film to lose some of its scare factor. Introducing the audience to this character early, and progressively revealing more of its features actually built the suspense and made me curious about what was going to happen next. I can see why this film is often given such great reviews: the acting was done well, the graphics (for being a film made in the fifties) were fantastic—with the exception of the bird at the end—and the way in which Jack Arnold and the writers had paced the film was exceptional. I thought that approaching the idea of the creature from the black lagoon from a scientific standpoint, using terms and ideas that most are at least somewhat familiar with, made the creature that much more menacing and believable—at least in comparison to some of the incredibly far fetched monsters that appear in other films. One of my biggest pet peeves about films is the fact that characters are always able to open their eyes and see—almost perfectly—in oceans, rivers and other bodies of water. For anyone that has ever been to the beach and even gotten a drop of salt water in their eyes knows that this is impractical; unless the situation is dire, I can’t see this scenario as being plausible. This film, again and again, allowed the characters to see perfectly under water. As the Universal monsters are slowly making their way back to the big screen, I can’t help but hope that the creature from the black lagoon will soon make its way back as well.



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