Watch The Human Monster
- 1 hr 15 min
The Human Monster is a gripping horror film from 1939, directed by Walter Summers and starring Bela Lugosi, Hugh Williams, and Greta Gynt. The film follows Scotland Yard detective Dick Barton, played by Williams, as he is tasked with solving a string of murders in London's seedy Limehouse district. The murders are particularly gruesome, with victims found drained of their blood and with strange puncture wounds on their necks. Suspicion falls on a mysterious Chinese man named Dr. Orloff, played by Lugosi, who is known to frequent the area and has a reputation as a skilled hypnotist.
As Barton delves deeper into the case, it becomes clear that there are darker forces at play than he originally suspected. Dr. Orloff's hypnotic powers are revealed to be just the beginning of a much more sinister plot. Gynt plays a young woman named Marjorie, who becomes caught up in the web of intrigue surrounding Orloff and Barton's investigation. As the body count rises, Barton must race against time to uncover the truth before more innocent lives are lost.
Lugosi's performance as Dr. Orloff is a highlight of the film. He imbues the character with a sense of menace and otherworldly charisma that keeps the audience on edge throughout the movie. Williams is equally compelling as the determined and resourceful detective, while Gynt's portrayal of Marjorie adds a welcome touch of vulnerability to the proceedings. The three actors have excellent chemistry together, making their interactions feel natural and grounded despite the film's fantastical elements.
One of the most striking aspects of The Human Monster is its depiction of the Limehouse district. The filmmakers go to great lengths to create a sense of atmosphere and authenticity, with detailed sets and costuming that bring the area to life. The film's use of shadows and lighting is also impressive, creating a moody and atmospheric visual style that adds to the overall sense of unease.
While The Human Monster is undoubtedly a horror film, it also touches on themes of xenophobia and racism. The character of Dr. Orloff is portrayed as a sinister figure partly because of his ethnicity, and there are some uncomfortable moments that reflect the prejudices of the era. However, the film also subverts some of these tropes and surprises the audience with its final twist.
Overall, The Human Monster is a well-crafted and entertaining horror movie that deserves to be better known than it is. Lugosi's performance alone is worth the price of admission, and the film's moody atmosphere and depiction of Limehouse make for an immersive experience. While some of the themes and plot points may not have aged well, the movie is still a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era of horror cinema.
The Human Monster is a 1940 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 15 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.