Owen Hughes’s review:
It's actually the first telling of the complete story that I've ever seen, and I quite enjoyed most of it. Lon Chaney as Quasimodo is brilliant though; really disturbing and horrible. The way he really goes at it with the bell ringing is impressive too!
It's got a lot of elements to it that make it a horror film, mostly all from Chaney's performance. I can see why he got such recognition for it. He's immense.
Some of it is very dated, as you'd expect for a 90 year old silent film, but there are a lot of elements to it that are still quite powerful and probably more gruesome than most modern horrors. The scenes on the cathedral roof, the stabbings, the make up on Quasimodo, it's very fresh and powerful still. There were other things in the story with the characters that added nothing to the film too which most modern directors I imagine would've cut completely. The whole back story with Esmerelda's mum, for example, was half attempted and pointless.
But, like I said, I did enjoy it. Looks good, has a good story, and the bloke who was sat next to me, looking over my shoulder, watching it with me on my phone on the bus on the commute home also seemed to be enjoying it. Frequently distracted him from his copy of whatever paper it was he was reading.