Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition: Masks

Welcome back, or just welcome if you are new, to Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves that consists of picking three films to fit the week's theme. 

It's October aka the horror-themed TMP month. Opening this year's horror feast are those movies where people go around killing other people while wearing a mask. 

Friday the 13th Part III (1982)

A group of friends decides to go to Crystal Lake for their vacation. Little they know that Jason is living in a cabin nearby and them vacationing there allows him to continue his killing spree. I hated this film, it was dull and laughable. And it was so stupid. But Jason finally gets his hockey mask so it was worthy of a mention.

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

An evil record producer steals both the girl and the music from a disfigured composer wearing a silver mask. He eventually makes a deal with the produced but the producer betrays him so he sets out to take revenge. This one is De Palma's and it's simply brilliant. It combines several operas beautifully and Paul Williams makes for a fantastic villain.

The Purge (2013)

It's that time of the year when all crimes are allowed, even murder, so the Sandins lock themselves inside the house and they keep going with their normal routine. Unfortunately for them, nothing goes as it was supposed to. Who's wearing the mask? The villains, led by a great Rhys Wakefield. The film isn't as good as it could have been (I liked the second better) but overall it was nice. And there's Ethan Hawke in this one. 


  1. I've never seen Phantom of the Paradise but now I want to after reading this. You can't go wrong with Jason Vorhees either! I wasn't a big fan of Part Three either, but he's a classic.

  2. I will never see the Friday the 13th movies because i am just not into them. We match on a theme-The Phantom! I remember when this came out and laughed that Paul Williams was going to play the Phantom. I remember him from The Love boat, Fantasy island and the Smokey and the Bandit movies. I have to see it now with better eyes as this was the 1970's. I believe this film is now a cult movie and has much better reviews now. I won't see The Purge either because of the topic....not my cup of tea

  3. I can't believe I've seen two of these! Phantom of the Paradise was a lot of fun in it's goofy but effective way. I remember when it came out and didn't do great but almost instantly became a cult classic. The other I've seen is the Friday the 13th which I was somehow convinced to see in the theatre. I can only think I had a high fever since I hate those films and 3-D gives me a headache but there I was. I guess than it's no great shock that I detested it. Second time I've seen The Purge mentioned, it wouldn't be my thing but sounds like a great fit.

    I'm not much for horror nor films involving masks so I decided to use three versions of the one horror story that I liked that employed that gimmick.

    The Phantom of the Opera (1925)-Moody, expressionist original version of the Gaston Leroux novel tells the tale of a disfigured man (Lon Chaney) who resides under the Grand Opera House of Paris and becomes enamored by a young singer (Mary Philbin). He becomes obsessed with making her a success resorting to extremes to bring that about. Contains a most impressive color sequence which considering it’s almost 100 years old is beautifully composed from the primitive elements available at that time. There have been many versions but this remains a singular experience thanks to both Chaney’s self-designed makeup hidden for most of the running time behind a mask and skill at expressing emotion through it.

    The Phantom of the Opera (1943)-Rejiggering the origin story somewhat this version starts with opera violinist Erique Claudin (Claude Rains) hopelessly in love with raising soprano Christine DuBois (Susanna Foster) who is also pursued by baritone Anatole Garron (Nelson Eddy) and police inspector Raoul Daubert (Edgar Barrier). Claudin secretly sponsors Christine’s vocal training until he is dismissed due to arthritis in his hands. Having submitted a concerto to an unscrupulous publisher Claudin discovers his work stolen and in a fit of anger strangles the man just as his assistant enters and throws a tray of acid in Claudin’s face. Permanently scarred he dons a mask and haunts the cellars of the opera house pursuing his goal to make Christine a star at any cost. Incredibly lush looking film was nominated for four Oscars. Unsurprisingly Rains is excellent and both Eddy and Susanna Foster were major opera stars of their day so the performance sequences are solid.

    The Phantom of the Opera (2004)-Filmed take of the enormously successful Andrew Lloyd Webber version does not capture the magic that was present onstage. Curiously inert considering the entire thing is sung and staged for movement with the mask once used to hide the phantom’s disfigurement far more aesthetically pleasing now that he has been transformed into some sort of romantic stud ideal. Considering he’s not a trained singer Gerard Butler does well enough in the lead but you’ll miss Michael Crawford soaring power on the songs. The rest of the cast is efficient but unmemorable except for Minnie Driver who has fun as the bitchy diva Carlotta, though her voice is dubbed.

  4. Oh, Phantom of the Paradise, now that is a film that I want to see.

  5. I've never seen Phantom of the Paradise, but it sounds fun. I have seen the other two and enjoy both, but for different reasons. The Jason-flick because, well, it's a Jason flick and I'm into that sort of silliness. The Purge, I like for the premise more than for the actual movie. For execution of that premise, I prefer The Purge: Anarchy.