Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Freaks (1932), Tod Browning

This review is critically analysing Tod Browning's movie "Freaks" (1932). This submission talks about specific use of horror without usual spooky or stabbing tricks. This review is based on Billy Stevenson's, Rob Humanic's and Bill Thompson's reviews.

Figure 1
This movie is called by the name "Freaks", because it is about handicapped people played by real people who were not faking it. Movie critic Bill Thompson says that: "Their realness does lend the film an incredible amount of creepiness, because even though it strives to present the Carnies as the real people they are, you are still going to be creeped out by a man with no arms and legs crawling through the mud while holding a knife in between his teeth" ( Billy Stevenson sees that it is not the only reason why this movie is so horrifying and uncomfortable to watch. He says that:"this exclusivity belies the radical continuity that exists between 'freakdom' and 'normality' - or between circus and outside world - evident in the protagonist's confidence that he will eventually be able to move from one to the other, as well as in Browning's final implication that physical 'beauty' is merely a further category of deformity.Wednesday, October 17, 2007, A Film Cannon). It means that beauty can be lost at anytime, but something what is inside can not change that easily. Third movie critic Rob Humanic pushes this idea forward and gives us conclusion to what is so terrifying in this movie. His statement is that: "the true horror of the film comes not from the physical appearances of its characters, but its antagonists’ incapacity to accept that which is different, and the unwaveringly universal capability of all men to act out of ill will and with violence." (One part deleted that we never see is that the strongman was castrated and in a deleted final scene is singing soprano. By deleting that scene we're led to believe he was killed. Anyway we will never know now what exact horrible things were taken out, but this movie has obviously taken the horror movies to a new level of more intence and sophisticated horror.

Figure 2

All in all Tod Browning's movie showed on the screen things that were never shown before. It is definitely one of the most highly influential classic horror movies. Real disabelled actors and intensively wrong atmosphere makes it really strong and worth atention.

Bill Thompson,

Billy Stevenson, Wednesday, October 17, 2007, A Film Cannon:

3) Rob Humanic,


  1. Oh, I completely forgot. Thanks for reminding. By the way, where can I find this image with all of the stars?