I set about writing this blog to vent about my passion for great horror films and in some small way to convince the doubters that horror is more worth than its reputation would have you believe. I’m not sure that this remake of the 1941 classic is going to help make my case – in fact I’m fairly sure that it won’t – but let’s be clear; I did enjoy myself. It’s a guilty pleasure certainly, but there’s nothing wrong with bubbles in your bath.
A couple of things helped – first off, I saw this with my sister at a great cinema. The Empire Leicester Square is simply enormous with a wonderful THX sound system, and there’s probably no film that it wouldn’t improve.
Secondly, there’s almost nothing that I don’t like about the Universal horror movies of the 30s and 40s, so my mind was half way made up before entering the cinema. My fond memories of Lon Chaney Jr. stomping around in his werewolf wellies were fresh in my mind, and the overall atmosphere of that movie, as in so many of those early horrors was genuinely eerie, helped as it was by wonderful gothic sets and generous helpings of fog.
From the get go, it’s clear that those involved had a healthy respect for the original and have gone some way towards recreating its feel. The tone is unmistakably gothic and the scenes fogbound. They set it in Victorian England and weren’t tempted to update it or transplant it, much to their eternal credit. (more…)