January 19, 2024

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: The Raven (1935)

Just like the “Because You Watched…” lane that pops up on your favorite streaming service, Now Playing Podcast wants to help you find the perfect companion flicks. Each week, contributor Chris Bravo brings you fresh recommends that tie in with one of our reviews.

What if you took the cinematic pairing of Lugosi and Karloff that we saw in Son of Frankenstein, and added some elements of Edgar Allen Poe’s literary horrors? That’s exactly what we see in The Raven (1935), another Universal monster film directed by Lew Landers. Bela Lugosi is playing less the Wolfman-esque Ygor in The Raven, instead being a tortured genius with a lonely yet sadistic heart more akin to Dracula. Karloff is, well, playing something very similar to Frankenstein’s Monster here. But pair these two with recitations from “The Raven”, a perverse murder like Prospero in “The Masque of the Red Death,” and death traps that harken to “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”

The Raven not only captures the essence of Poe’s literary brilliance but also incorporates elements of psychological horror and suspense. The film’s atmospheric cinematography and haunting musical score create an immersive experience that should resonate with fans of Son of Frankenstein. And just as the latter film explores the consequences of scientific curiosity, The Raven delves into the darker realms of the human psyche, as we see Lugosi’s character become more and more desperate for love and acceptance.

For fans of these actors from Son of Frankenstein, and especially for fans of Poe’s literary legacy, The Raven should be a treat. The film is short, like most other Universal monster movies, and is a bit on the ridiculous side at times. But If you’re a fan of the classic horror genre at all, don’t miss The Raven.

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