Friday, October 1, 2010

31 Days of Halloween: Freaks

The leaves are starting to change, the temperature is starting to drop, and the internet is about to splatter the entrails of a million and one horror movie favorites all over your blog feed.  You'll read them all, though you've seen them all before.  It's same old, same old.  Lucky for you, we're not quite the usual.  No, no, we're the depraved monsters under your bed (but not like that).  So, here at Love & Squalor, instead of giving you a rundown of the same old horror movies, counting down from 10 or debating whether or not The Exorcist deserves all the credit it gets, we're going to do something different. Each day we're going to jump door to door to give you a treat; a morsel of a seasonal movie we love, a fun-sized bit of something you may or may not find beneath the cobwebs of Blockbuster's Halloween section (though you can bet there will be some stand-by's along the way).  Follow us, little children.

Todd Browning’s tale of a sideshow group that gets its revenge is one of early Hollywood’s great masterpieces. Given the film after the success of his Universal monster movie Dracula, Browning took every opportunity to provide an authentic and haunting experience and cast real side show members and people with deformities, a choice that ruined his career and caused a scandal in Hollywood that’s still talked about today for the film's exploitative connotations. The beauty of the film is that is straddles the line between the exploitative and the genuine, allowing the viewer to stare without judgment or guilt while providing a film that’s just damn well done and engaging in its own right, one that respects its characters enough to make human nature the real freak in us all. Creepy, upsetting, and interesting, its the rare black and white film that will keep your modern day, cranky friends who are unused to movies pre-1980 interested, while giving you major snooty film cred points.

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