Welcome to the Second Union 31 Days of Horror event! Every day leading up to Tuesday, October 31st, (starting Sunday, October 1st) we will post a review of one horror film.
Today’s Film: Creature from the Black Lagoon. Enjoy!
Creature from the Black Lagoon is directed by Jack Arnold and was released in the “golden age” of 3D films. It follows a group of scientists traveling in the Amazon who are searching for the remains of an amphibian creature from the Devonian era. While searching, they stumble upon the creature itself, who wishes to capture one of the crew who it has fallen in love with. This is a weird film, mainly because it begins a lot differently than the other films and that makes the story play out a bit differently. This film begins with how a lot of horror films after it began: a scientist finds something ancient in a rainforest. Sound familiar?
This creature is one of my favorites for so many reasons. This is a monster that was born naturally and has simply been around for a very long time. It’s a product of nature and has no special powers, other than it is strong. Its environment wasn’t man-made, but the only reason it has a place in this film is because man comes to his land and tries to take him away from it. Plus, this is by far the coolest damn monster Universal has ever put forth. His music? Awesome. His sleek and well-designed look? Yeah, it’s totally badass. I’ve always had a love for underwater-set films, but this is a whole new level of fun. I freaking love viewing this film every year for Halloween. However, it does have a few problems.
The first issue is its really campy and boring dialogue. This is a horror film, not a soap opera. The film is filled with ridiculously tedious and uninteresting characters who serve little to no purpose. The male and female leads are total genre clichés, plot points meant to carry the story along in a way that helps the viewer be remotely interested. And I’m not saying that it isn’t an interesting film, it is! But it simply doesn’t know how to work with anything other than the titular monster. Another problem is the pacing. This film can be really fun. It just, at times, is quite a drag, with information simply as filler. This is the second-longest film in the Universal Monsters franchise, and it really doesn’t need to be that lengthy.
Creature from the Black Lagoon is the perfectly campy horror flick that serves as a fun and enjoyable film while also introducing the world to the iconic Gill-Man. However, it can be tedious and extremely annoying with its lack of character development and inferior pacing when compared to other Universal Monster films. I’m going to give it a B.
Creature from the Black Lagoon stars Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno. Directed by Jack Arnold.