The dark brilliance of Val Lewton: RKO’s Other Genius

Recently during the lockdown here in Australia, I’ve been re-watching the brilliant films of Val Lewton. There’s so much more I could add to this article written in 2016 but thought it was worth re-blogging at any rate, in honour of this underrated cinematic genius.

Silver Screen Classics

8638692_f1024‘There is no beauty here, only death and decay’ – Paul Holland ‘I Walked With A Zombie’ (1943)

So another Halloween has passed by, where people not only decided what to wear at parties (or when trick-or-treating) or what party to go to but also what horror films to watch. TV horror marathons ensued, playing everything from classic Universal to 50s sci-fi to slasher films. It’s always an interesting time from the point of view of film fans, as we get to share with others our favourite classic (and not-so-classic!) horror films. It’s always interesting to read must-see lists and top ten lists of all kinds. At times, we even discover something new – perhaps a gem from the past that we overlooked or a little-known film that finally gets some notice.

I’ve been looking at a number of lists, posts and articles on Halloween horror viewing across a range…

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6 thoughts on “The dark brilliance of Val Lewton: RKO’s Other Genius

    1. Thank you so much! Lewton was truly an underrated genius who deserves far greater attention. The Karloff films are superb and he did say that it was some of his favourite work. He felt invigorated working with the Lewton unit and I think it shows!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is a great tribute to a man and his stable of brilliant young directors who left an incredible legacy of subtly dark and disturbing, yet immensely enjoyable films. It says something that while the rest of Hollywood was rallying people with flag-waving and war heroics, these sophisticated little films still found an audience. I return to them again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much and I couldn’t agree more with you regarding the brilliance of Lewton. They are sophisticated films and stand the test of time in terms of their content and style. I, too, return to them and I’m never disappointed.


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