Ryan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Part of Hoop-Tober 5.0 (19/33)
"If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so."
I had originally planned on rewatching Nosferatu to fulfill the silent movie criteria of my Hooptober list, but decided to call an audible and watch this instead since it was very conveniently available on FilmStruck and Nosferatu, well, wasn't. Plus I had never seen this before so I think this was the smarter play.
There's no denying the artistry here, but I'm wondering if this really deserves its runtime. Several scenes (the chandelier sequence in particular) had shots that held needlessly on something or someone for too long and it felt like it added up quite a bit. Maybe I just feel that way because I find silent films a bit harder to pay attention to (sue me) so any seemingly extraneous stuff felt more impactful than it really was. I'm not at all familiar with the source material —early 20th century French literature just isn't my thing, I guess— however due to Phantom's status in pop-culture I was already fairly familiar with the plot. There's plenty of layers to the story though, so much that I feel as though a good amount may have gone over my head because I'm missing some historical context, but that's fine. Lon Chaney's makeup is unreal and I hope those stories about people allegedly fainting in auditoriums during the unmasking scene are true.
Anyway, it felt good to knock another title as iconic as this one off of my
watchlist, and this really made me want to rewatch The Phantom of the Megaplex.