Must-Own Halloween Blu-Rays In 2012 – Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection + 1

A Halloween Blu-ray Collection Entertains with the Phantom of the Opera

As for these films, each one still has staying power, and not just because the central figures made the greatest happy meal toys ever. No, I say that because the worst of the bunch, Phantom of the Opera, must be regarded in the same light as its contemporaries even though it falls furthest in terms of quality. Very far from the standard set by the Lon Chaney version, which, for my money, has never been topped). The pace is beyond sluggish, the musical sequences are flat, and the film often feels like a series of set pieces strung together. For me, it is one of the hardest Universal movies to get though.

Yet the film has enough merits to justify its inclusion in this collection. Claude Rains delivers an awe-inspiring performance as the Phantom, and that alone should pique your interest. He’s backed up quite nicely by a strong cast, lavish sets, and a gorgeous early Technicolor print should look nothing less than eye-popping on Blu-ray. Really, the Phantom is sort of a runner-up monster in the Universal Monster cannon, but Rains’ take on the character makes the film a worthy entry.

Lugosi made this an iconic image…

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