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Revisiting the Classics: THE LODGER

Even among Horror marks who have an appreciation for the silent film classics that serve as foundation for the genre as we know it today—films such as Murnau’s NOSFERATU and Lon Chaney’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME; even, if said mark is *really* into the silents, his or her list includes such works as DER GOLEM, METROPOLIS, and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI—a film that might be overlooked is THE LODGER: A STORY OF THE LONDON FOG. It ought not to be, because this latter is as good as they get.

Alfred Hitchcock had previously directed two films, but for all intents and purposes THE LODGER was his first. He himself regarded it as such. It is the first to display the telltale signs of the future cinematic genius at work. It was harder for filmmakers to tell a story without the use of sound, but this impediment could, and did, within the hands of a master of the craft, become a project’s greatest strength. THE LODGER is a masterpiece, beautiful to look at, visually sumptuous.

There is much for the lover of the gothic to appreciate here. A true “film noir” inspired by the crimes of Jack the Ripper, it also serves as an intriguing mystery. Is the sinister-looking lodger who checks into a bed-and-breakfast and strikes up a relationship with the proprietors’ daughter really the serial killer who has been terrorizing London, or is he the ultimate red herring?

TheCheezman • September 7, 2018

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