Critic Reviews for Phantom
Somewhat stodgy in its seriousness, Phantom remains a secondary work by a great filmmaker.
The film has its share of hand-wringing histrionics, but is also striking in mood and look.
Phantom is a fitting title for a story in which emotions are ruthless, motivations are slippery, and identity itself is dauntingly hard to pin down. This isn't exactly horror, but parts of it border on nightmare.
Audience Reviews for Phantom
I wasn't impressed, interested, or put off by this film... in fact I didn't feel anything but boredom towards it. The plot sounds so promising, but the picture doesn't deliver. Even though my DVD was of poor quality, I couldn't get into this movie at all. I expected more from a film called Phantom.
Frankly, this film stinks. It earns two stars for F.W. Murnau's direction, but the melodramatic story is absolutely awful. The lead character (Alfred Abel, who otherwise did some fine work with Fritz Lang) is a twitching idiot who throws away his life after falling in love with a passing stranger whom he never encounters again, and the film bets all its chips on us sympathizing with him rather than believing he's a ridiculous fool. Then he goes even further, bankrupting himself by throwing gifts at a shoddy lookalike woman who does even less to deserve his affection. And heaven knows why the title suggests a horror movie -- the only horror is the script. To add insult to injury, the film tacks on a cheap, happy ending which is totally unearned. Skip this one.
Not what I expected from F.W Murnau. It didn't have the beauty of SUNRISE or the mystery of NOSFERATU. And the title is a trifle misleading, in that I was expecting a ghost story of some sort. Instead, the title refers to obsessive "phantoms" of desires and dreams that haunt one's thoughts. This film resembles somewhat THE BLUE ANGEL in that a man's chance meeting with a mystery woman and his subsequent obsession of same leads to his downfall. Performances were a bit over-dramatic, but that is to be expected for 1922. And I have a hard time finding a lot of faults with silent German cinema. All in all, not a masterpiece but good enough to hold my attention for 2+ hours.
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