MM/SKM: Erik from Phantom of the Opera

Lon Chaney as Erik/The Phantom in "The Phantom of the Opera": In the 1925 silent horror movie classic Phantom of the Opera, the iconic unmasking scene is known. Scaring people as they shrieked and fainted out of fright at the hideous face of the deformed Erik brought sheer terror home. When we are first introduced to this person we know that he has an affection for the lovely Christine. A musical genius he coaches her in opera on how to become a better singer. There was simply nothing more frightening for her when she took of the mask of the man she thought would be normal. She didn’t expect to see a skeletal faced man with clear deformities. Misunderstood, Erik was forced to hide underneath the Paris Opera house for he was hidden from society. After this scene we watch as Erik loses his mind slowly beyond redemption. At this point there is nothing that can bring him back to being the way that he was with Christine for she knew what he looked like underneath. Erik is quite possibly the first movie “monster” to put fright on the map for Lon Chaney Sr., went all out with the make-up to make him as scary as possible.

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