Creature From The Black Lagoon review : How a “Classic” isn’t as good as it seems.

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When discussing horror movies, it’s important to note where they originated from, seeing as they often mirror their grandfathers. Take, for example : Jaws. Jaws Became known as The shark themed horror movie. It’s original antagonist (in that instead of some monster, deranged killer, or a poltergeist , it’s just a really, REALLY, angry shark) and excellent way of portraying that is what spawned a tidal wave for shark horror or some other angry beast of the ocean. Seriously, go to on demand and type in “shark.” and just stare in utter confusion about how many shark-themed movies there are. This is done for nearly classic horror movies. Zombies, vampires, aliens, the list goes on. But amongst these is an outlier : The Creature From The Black Lagoon. The Creature From the Black Lagoon has apparently inspired either none or considerably less people to make movies akin to itself. As for why that is so, we are going to look into why this is considered a classic.
The Creature From The Black Lagoon (Which I shall now abbreviate to CFBL from now on) sets us in an island, where a group of scientists do research on a species thought to be the missing link between humans and fish. The scientists set out to The Black Lagoon, where they assume most of the remains have been washed away too. The creature, however is very well alive, and takes to killing those in his Lagoon. The creature also wants to capture the only woman of the group, for personal reasons, I assume. Once made aware of the creatures existence, the bookworms argue about either capturing or killing it. But this creature isn’t going down so easily.
The fatal flaw in this movie is : being boring. The story is extremely one-dimensional, as if it’s going to point A, to point B, to point C, without really expanding upon anything. It’s really easy to follow along, but feels more like going through a powerpoint presentation rather than watching something for excitement. There is no break off, or side plots to spice up the main story, it’s just moving ever along, slowly. It gets real tiring, real quick. There isn’t even time for any real character development, which makes the characters extremely dull. Thankfully there is at least one fun character : The captain of the boat. He’s generally upbeat and cracking jokes, but experienced and won’t take it from anyone, whether monster or a fellow man threatening him. Everyone else is extremely linear personality-wise, their one dedicated trait being their personality.
The creature itself, while certainly unique to the horror genre for the time, comes off as more of an incompetent stalker than a monster out to murder everyone. It feels like they went for more of a Frankenstein’s monster kind of antagonist, being a human-like creature that has an uncanny look, while grabbing the viewer’s sympathy. Unfortunately, when this is done wrong, as it is here, you get a big idiot fish man who is also a stalker. Through the halfway point, the creature manages to get the drop on humans. His first reaction? Climb on the latter, proceed to start going after someone, punch a light halfway through, light himself on fire, retreat back into the lagoon, accidently drugs himself, and falls back in. (I take this time to remind you this is a horror movie, not a Three Stooges skit.) His behavior towards the woman when she goes out for a swim proves this further. Half the time he is hiding away, staring at her, the other half he’s slowly swimming up and grazing her leg. This, at least for me, didn’t induce an “aw”, but rather, an “uhhhh.” It wasn’t endearing, nor was it making the creature seem innocent, it was just creepy, which is what I hope they were going for.
The CFBL is the perfect concept of circular logic, seeing as it’s claim to being a classic was : well, It’s a classic. The standard for what was ultimately a good movie back then was way lower than it is now. Simply put, this movie that at one point may have been scary, has been outshined by others such as The Exorcist, The Shining, or Friday the 13th. It now only stands where it is now because of it being good back then. And personality, while others may still give it a great score, I think it aged like milk. CFBL gets a 2/10