Universal Pictures introduced audiences to yet another classic movie monster with this superbly crafted tale of an Amazonian fossil-hunting expedition gone awry. Traveling down a dark tributary, the group encounters and captures a prehistoric, amphibious “Gill Man” — who escapes and abducts their sole female member, spiriting her off to his lair. Director Jack Arnold makes excellent use of the tropical location, employing heavy mists and eerie jungle noises to create an atmosphere of nearly constant menace.
“...A good piece of science-fiction of the beauty and the beast school, the beast in this case being a monstrous combination of man and fish. It makes for solid horror-thrill entertainment.” —Hollywood Reporter (Feb 9, 1954) “At a time when movies and television seem terrified to slow down even for a second, for fear of losing audiences to another streaming platform, the film's willingness to let the viewer marinate in a moment makes an old work feel strangely fresh and new. Although it was aimed at teenage audiences, it’s a serious film with an adult sensibility. Its eye for beauty and belief in its ability to hold the viewer’s attention make it feel more like a contemporary ‘art house’ horror movie than a 1950s studio attempt to make an exploitation picture.” —Matt Zoller Seitz, rogerebert.com (Oct 15, 2022)