Mad Love

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 9, 2015

The US and its Hollywood studio system, yes, but where would this genre be without the Germans? Karl Freund is the secret weapon, the implicit star of this whole spate of movies, from his seminal work in Germany with Murnau and Lang (’24/’27), right up to this little masterpiece. It’s kind of an unusual horror movie in the period, being so sharp and disciplined and consistent. For such a superb take on irrational impulse, it’s awfully decorous. No missteps, nothing out of place, each performance and object and composition just right. In fact, it’s a Swiss watch of a horror movie, if such an outlandish non-sequitur can be applied. But when the moments occur, do they ever occur. (Lorre and Clive’s meeting!) Anxious art rising out of the enlightenment, Buchner out of Blaise Pascal. There. I’ve hurt myself!