Sunday, August 26, 2012

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) review


This iconic horror/sci-fi still remains a classic even today for its dated suspense and terror.

PLOT:After finding a fossil of a monster-like hand in the Amazon, Dr. Carl Maia (Antonio Moreno) unites with couple David Reed (Richard Carlson) and Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams) with fellow scientist, Mark Williams (Richard Denning), to form an expedition party to dig up the rest of the fossil. However, they discover when they get there that the rest is nowhere to be found. They form a hypothesis that the soil may have eroded and been dragged down river with the fossil. This leads them to the Black Lagoon, where it's rumored that no one has returned. While searching there, they get more when they bargained for when they find the creature: a living version of thier fossil. The creature immediately falls in love with Kay and decides to terrorize the crew. It's a good plot executed well for its time.

ACTING:The acting in here is pretty good. I'd say that Julie Adams stole the screen as Kay Lawrence her beauty and terror both shine in here as she flees from the creature. Carlson also does a pretty good job as David as he takes control of the screen as our brave hero. The other shiners were Antonio Moreno as Dr. Carl Maia and Nestor Paiva as Lucas. I actually believe this was one of Richard Denning's lesser roles. He just didn't do the job for me.

SCORE:The score kind of got on my nerves. It was mainly just mood-fitting horror score, but it got on my nerves when they kept playing the same theme over and over again whenever the creature appeared.

EFFECTS:The effects used on the creature may be dated now, but I find it still an unsettling sight to see it in its entirety. Sure, it's a big human fish, but it still looks a bit creepy. For its time, these effects were considered pretty well done. It's still a freaky scene to see that monsterish hand creeping through the porthole of the boat.

OTHER CONTENT:This is one horror movie that everyone should know by sight. It's very iconic; the music, the setting, and the monster itself are all very well-known among cinephiles and some casual movie-watchers alike. Also, the movie is still very suspenseful and memorable, not to mention well-shot with the camera. However, it is still just a B-movie that time wasn't particularly good to. It's cheesy, dated, and not as scary as it was back then. It does have its highlights, but I feel its time has passed along with it. I actually believe if the right mind remade this movie, it would be pretty great. Yet, I am not film director, so it may be better left alone.

OVERALL,a good horror movie with a good plot, good acting, annoying score, still-unsettling effects, iconic aspects not forgotten, lots of suspense, and memorable scenes, but it's cheesy, dated, and left in its time.

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