Well.. this is going to be a hell of a month for me when it comes to Thursday Movie Picks because I will be outside my comfort zone the entire time. In other words, I’m not that good with horror related movies, and when I say not that good, I mean I suck at watching them. So there’s no surprise there when I say that I’ve seen only a few, which makes this month a very tight squeeze, and this week’s theme of “masks” is not the best fit either.


It is listed as horror on Letterboxd so I’m going with The Silence of the Lambs as my first pick because we all know that very creepy looking Hannibal mask. I also like that yes, sure, this movie is more of the crime genre but serial killers are horrible so this movie has a realistic and horrific aspect to itself. In other words, I’m glad Letterboxd listed this one in the horror genre because for me, it feels like the perfect fit for this week’s theme.

2. THE PURGE (2013)

The Purge is only 4 years old? What? How did.. what? I thought it was much older but apparently not. Anyway, I want to mention The Purge because I actually think it’s pretty okay. I didn’t love it, but I loved the idea of it – that one night during the year there’s no law. I like those sort of sociological hypothetical situations, that ask important questions through a unrealistic situation. We all know those things will never happen BUT it feels realistic enough for it to be still a possibility in the future. So yeah, The Purge.

3. IT (2017)

So obviously not a mask but technically, still a mask for what ever It actually is. So yes, I’m picking the most obvious movie from just a month ago but I really liked It. I’m yet to discuss it though, so who knows when I’ll finally write its review but it will happen, I know it will…



  • I’ve only seen Silence of the Lambs among these three. Though it was an excellent film with those great performances I found it almost as unsettling as the book and only watched it the once. It never occurred to me but it’s a good catch. The other two don’t sound like my thing but are good choices.

    Like you horror is outside of my regular viewing so I’ll be struggling as well with picks this month. I was able to resolve it this time by choosing three versions of a classic horror story that I actually enjoyed. I may not be so lucky going forward!

    The Phantom of the Opera (1925)-Moody, expressionist original version of the Gaston Leroux novel tells the tale of a disfigured man (Lon Chaney) who resides under the Grand Opera House of Paris and becomes enamored by a young singer (Mary Philbin). He becomes obsessed with making her a success resorting to extremes to bring that about. Contains a most impressive color sequence which considering it’s almost 100 years old is beautifully composed from the primitive elements available at that time. There have been many versions but this remains a singular experience thanks to both Chaney’s self-designed makeup hidden for most of the running time behind a mask and skill at expressing emotion through it.

    The Phantom of the Opera (1943)-Rejiggering the origin story somewhat this version starts with opera violinist Erique Claudin (Claude Rains) hopelessly in love with raising soprano Christine DuBois (Susanna Foster) who is also pursued by baritone Anatole Garron (Nelson Eddy) and police inspector Raoul Daubert (Edgar Barrier). Claudin secretly sponsors Christine’s vocal training until he is dismissed due to arthritis in his hands. Having submitted a concerto to an unscrupulous publisher Claudin discovers his work stolen and in a fit of anger strangles the man just as his assistant enters and throws a tray of acid in Claudin’s face. Permanently scarred he dons a mask and haunts the cellars of the opera house pursuing his goal to make Christine a star at any cost. Incredibly lush looking film was nominated for four Oscars. Unsurprisingly Rains is excellent and both Eddy and Susanna Foster were major opera stars of their day so the performance sequences are solid.

    The Phantom of the Opera (2004)-Filmed take of the enormously successful Andrew Lloyd Webber version does not capture the magic that was present onstage. Curiously inert considering the entire thing is sung and staged for movement with the mask once used to hide the phantom’s disfigurement far more aesthetically pleasing now that he has been transformed into some sort of romantic stud ideal. Considering he’s not a trained singer Gerard Butler does well enough in the lead but you’ll miss Michael Crawford soaring power on the songs. The rest of the cast is efficient but unmemorable except for Minnie Driver who has fun as the bitchy diva Carlotta, though her voice is dubbed.

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