The Wolf Man (1941)

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George Waggner directs Lon Chaney, Jr.,  Evelyn Ankers and Claude Rains in this Universal monsters classic about a… well you know.

The problem with catching up on your classic horror movies is you are watching the originator long after you’ve seen all the good and awful it has inspired. Synoptic Gospels or Patient Zero – you’ve explored this mythology and world through more modern, more confident, more expanded progeny. Luckily, this iteration of The Wolf Man has a thoroughly sympathetic lead turn from Lon Chaney that elevates it beyond being a mere museum piece. A big hulking sad sack of a man, he is constantly making developed choices with his body language, facial expressions and line delivery. It is a perfect genre performance and binds the nascent mysticism, slight stalking sequences and awkward doomed romance wonderfully. So much so that it is almost a shame when he eventually transforms to full wolf.

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