Dolls & Horror

Bisques, fetish dolls, plush, ventriloquist dummies, voodoo dolls, worry dolls; dolls come in various shapes and forms. They are a major archetype of horror movies. In this book, film critic Steve Hutchison reviews and ranks 50 of the best horror movies featuring dolls ever released. How many have you seen?

Creature from the Black Lagoon

A group of scientists investigate a deadly prehistoric creature that lurks in Amazonian waters.
Creature Feature
United States
1954
Feature Film
Realism: 
Supernatural
Black & White
Animals: 
Dinosaur
Imaginary
Stalker: 
Hunter
Sneaker
4
A product of the first water!
6
4
5.04
4
1
4
1
Editing
Effects
Photography
The creature from the Black Lagoon is presumed a result of evolution, if we refer to the first sequences’ narration. This new monster, courtesy of Universal Studios, joins Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Mummy, the Wolfman and a select few at the ranks of classic horror icons. His thing? He lurks underwater and kidnaps swimmers; scientists, in this case.
The wonderful aquatic shots justify a villain that makes a lagoon its hunting ground. When the creature stalks its victims, the camera exposes both what it sees and what its clueless victim does, under and over the body of water, alternately. The score is efficiently synchronized with the footage, creating tension despite the limitations of the technical challenges the gimmick requires.
The best rubber suit in the world can't make a man look like anything else than a man when it comes to swimming. In fact, performances and blocking aren't a strength of Creature From the Black Lagoon. The actors spit their superficial lines of dialogue seemingly without guidance. Filmed under the right sun and setting, though, they come out as a sympathetic bunch who we manage to root for.
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