Meg Shields over at Film School Rejects has put together an almost-love-letter tribute to Lon Chaney (and his son, Lon Chaney, Jr.) of the silent film era. For those unfamiliar with his work, it’s an excellent primer to his multi-faceted contributions ranging from The Phantom of the Opera and beyond. For those who are, it’s a veritable treasure chest of historical gems and tie-ins to today’s themes in horror. Most interestingly, she cultivates an appreciation for Chaney’s deep understanding of humanity and the grotesque.

Chaney advocated for a space that collapsed the distance between horror and heartbreak. “Virg, make me look frightening and repulsive,” Chaney once said to Phantom DoP Virgil Miller, “but at the same time make the audience love me.”

Make sure you check out this retrospective on one of the most interesting and empathetic careers in silent film. There’s enough supplemental links in there to keep you busy for the day.

Featured Image: Universal Pictures