My wife and I have just started a fun new project- watching as many of the classic old horror movies as we can find on Netflix. “Classic,” in this case, is not particularly a mark of quality. My mother always used to tell me that the old horror movies were “far better” than the newer ones. She was not right about this, I'm afraid. Horror cinema has unquestionably improved a lot on every level- screenwriting, special effects and acting are all much better even in mediocre horror movies now than in the very best horror movies then.
So as I move on to write about the different old classics we're watching, just take them for what they are- fun movies in one way or another, but not always very good movies. “Creature From the Black Lagoon” is a perfect example. The Gill-Man is as graceless and clumsy-looking underwater as he is on dry land. The scientist characters are casually unconcerned about the deaths of three locals, only perking up when the first white character gets killed. If every scene where nothing really happens got cut from the movie, it would probably clock in at about thirty-five minutes. We would also be spared a lot of footage of people swimming aimlessly around while the Gill-Man just kind of looks at them.
Still, “Creature from the Black Lagoon” is enjoyable to watch, especially when you watch it the right way- hanging out and relaxing late at night, and making little jokes about the movie like your own home version of MST3K. And my three-year-old considered it a non-stop thrill ride.