Black and White Horror
Classic horror movies have many things in common with noir films.
Common sense dictates that, in a world that is getting irreversibly worse by the hour, older works of art have greater prestige and value than contemporary ones. Due to it having been created in a hypothetical better world, by potentially better persons.
If we follow the reasoning of the previous paragraph, we could conclude that vintage cinema should be highly popular with audiences. In the case of horror, the few conversations I found it wasn’t the case, far from it.
The arguments hoisted against the reasoning of the first paragraph are few and far between. For instance, one of them being that any contemporary movies featuring realistic special effects are much more enjoyable.
Personally, I’ve seen how millennials and other people around that age have a hard time getting into old movies. Their arguments for not watching old movies are trivial, unjustified things like:
- The oldness of the material
- The black and white colors
- The worn-out stories
Happily, I also have seen the opposite kind of millennials react to their pleasure-impaired peers in maturer, more well-adjusted ways.
I’ve seen millennials that like to watch old movies contest the arguments of those that don’t. They use arguments and manners that don’t allow for any kind of valid counter-arguments.
Still, millennials are just a group, the one I had the opportunity to witness. I’m letting out all the other people from the baby boomers up to now that moved on and don’t care about vintage horror works.
I’d like to be counted out from those crowds because I love all things vintage beside horror.
There’s no consensus on what is noir film concisely, so it follows too that to define clearly noir will be a prerequisite to a definition of proto-noir horror and horror noir.
Crime Novels and Film Noir
Film noir ain’t cinema for the millennial chatty-Katy or complaining-Cochise.
I’ve found that, for some of the noir movies, you need a power of intellect and a capacity for attention way above average.
They’re movies from an age when entertainment was scarce, and seldom very cheap or free.
Maybe because of this, the pinnacle of noir cinema was creating movies based on successful crime novels (also known as black novels) that, as I myself see it, were the nineteen-forties versions of role-playing games and video-game interactivity.
First I was kind of baffled and slightly annoyed by this quality that many noir movies have. Then I realized what was going on. Simply put, these movies put you to think, and very hard at that.
This ain’t easy entertainment, but a hard-boiled atmospheric universe where the authors/film-makers rather lose those of the audience that can’t keep up with the laborious, kneaded, tough plots, rather than compromising the highly complex stories and worlds particular to the style.
This hard-to-follow, talkie, dark style isn’t something that’s relegated to a few directors. If I remember correctly, I’d wager to say more than half of the noir movies I watched were dense like I just described.
Personally, before watching film noir movies, I fell in love with horror noir. But how do you call the movies on the genre that were made even before the noir film started to become defined?
I couldn’t come up with anything more logical than proto-noir horror.
For me it all started with The Mummy, that was definitely proto-noir horror. What other movies I think should be analyzed to see if they could be called proto-noir?
It could be debatable that Metropolis would fit into proto-noir-horror, but I do think it is, because the story is about a mad scientist.
Don’t fancy yourself a true horror fan if this movie doesn’t occupy a special place in your heart.
Blood of a Poet
A rather poetical, dreamy silent movie with a lot of sinister imagery.
Dracula (Spanish Version)
Bride of Frankenstein
Son of Frankenstein
Mark of The Vampire
The Invisible Ray
The Black Cat
The Fatal Hour
The Invisible Man
The Old Dark House
The Mummy’s Hand
Murders in the Rue Morgue
These are just the ones of the 1930s that I watched, and I’m sure I’m letting many out from that decade.
Because of that, this post will become an article, and another cornerstone content of this Tumblr. In time, I’ll update it with more movies
from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s
pertinent to the topic.