Why these classic horror movies are essential viewing
If you’ve never seen Bela Lugosi play Dracula, that’s a shame, but not one you have to bear for eternity.
Shudder, the AMC-backed horror platform, added the “Universal Monsters” collection to include some of the most influential horror movies ever made.
The collection includes Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and The Wolf Man (1941).
Even if you’re not a big horror buff, this is the time of year to see a scary movie. It’s a requirement like watching A Charlie Brown Christmasaround the holidays except with much less violence and fear of inevitable death.
Seeing the horror movies in the “Universal Monsters” collection is also a must if you’ve never watched them before. Why? Because you’ll never look at a new horror movie the same way again.
Trust me, I know.
Back in college, I took a story called Horror Story. We had to read a lot of books you might expect. Guys like Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker made up the syllabus, but these days it appears that the best part of the class is no more – the Friday movie. That’s right. Every Friday we had to watch a horror movie of the professor’s choosing.
It was here that I saw Rosemary’s Baby for the first time. I was also exposed to movies like Freaksmade in 1932. It was directed by Tod Browning, the year after he directed his biggest hit, Dracula. The class wasn’t all buttery popcorn and naps in class. We had to turn in a paper to discuss the importance of each movie that we saw.
The professor I had for Horror Story has long since retired. It looks like the movie-watching part of the class is now gone. That’s too bad. Luckily, Shudder is crafting its own syllabus for us with this curated list of classics.
6 Classic horror movies now on Shudder
- Dracula (1931) — Bela Lugosi stars in the Universal’s classic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s essential vampire tale. Directed by Tod Browning.
- Frankenstein (1931) — Boris Karloff plays one of his most memorable roles as The Monster. The movie is about the story of Dr. Frankenstein, who obsesses over piecing together salvaged body parts to create a human. Based on the novel by Mary Shelley.
- Bride of Frankenstein (1935) — Karloff reprises his role as The Monster, and Elsa Lanchester stars as his ill-fated bride.
- The Invisible Man (1944) — Claude Rains stars as a mysterious doctor who discovers a serum that makes him invisible and slowly drives him to commit acts of terror. Based on the novel by H.G. Wells.
- The Mummy (1932) — Boris Karloff stars as the mummy Im-Ho-Tep, a high priest who is revived by British archaeologists 3,700 years after being embalmed alive. The mummy stalks a woman that he believes is the reincarnation of his lover. Directed by Karl Freund.
- The Wolf Man (1941) – A man returns to his homeland in Wales upon the death of his brother. A creature of folklore attacks him, and upon killing it, he realizes he has been bit and turns into a werewolf during each full moon.
What is Shudder?
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Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble