The Black Cat
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The first cinematic teaming of horror greats Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi is a bizarre, haunting, and relentlessly eerie film that was surprisingly morbid and perverse for its time. Peter (David Manners) and Joan Allison (Julie Bishop) are honeymooning in Budapest when they meet mysterious scientist Dr. Vitus Verdegast (Lugosi) aboard a train. When the trio's bus from the train station gets into an accident, the young couple accompanies Verdegast to the castle of the spectral Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff), an architect and the leader of a Satanic cult. Poelzig's treachery in World War I… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A dismal hocus-pocus which seems to confuse its actors as much as it fails to frighten its audience."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"More foolish than horrible. The story and dialogue pile the agony on too thick to give the audience a reasonable scare."
‑ Andre Sennwald, New York Times
"This timeless classic is a testimony to the craft of director Edgar G Ulmer before his career lurched into the quickie arena."
‑ Alan Jones, Radio Times
"No monsters but lots of atmosphere, this is a classic of the genre."
‑ Steve Biodrowski, ESplatter
"... a baroque masterpiece, the pinnacle of expressionism of Hollywood."
‑ Sean Axmaker, St@tic Multimedia
"Story is confused and confusing, and while with the aid of heavily-shadowed lighting and mausoleum-like architecture, a certain eeriness has been achieved, it's all a poor imitation of things seen before."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Sumptuously subversive... one of the very best horror movies Universal ever made."
‑ Tony Rayns, Time Out
"Edgar G. Ulmer's grandest danse macabre, a magnificently sustained trance"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
‑ Cole Smithey,
"A creepy classic, this one is the cat's meow."
‑ Staci Layne Wilson,
"Ulmer never again had the budgetary resources granted him by Universal (at the time, Karloff and Lugosi were two of the studio's biggest stars), and he makes the most of them."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"This bizarre, utterly irrational masterpiece, lasting little more than an hour, has images that bury themselves in the mind."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"A magnificently eerie entry from the early days of Hollywood horror."
‑ , Film4
"One of the best in Universal's storied horror cycle."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"Inventive horror classic with brilliant sets and visual style."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
More reviews for The Black Cat on Rotten Tomatoes