Classic horror movies often contain the stuff that nightmares are made of. These inhuman beings are usually placed front and center on the movie poster, ranging from giant blobs and blood-sucking demons to underwater sea creatures. Audiences love a good monster movie, but not all cinematic monster movies have held up over the years. Special effects and theatrical makeup have undoubtedly improved over time, along with other aspects of the production.
However, the physical appearance of a movie monster isn’t always to blame when a movie looks dated. Sometimes thematic elements come into play, and not all horror films have staying power. While not every older film featuring a creature out to wreak havoc is perfect, a handful of eclectic films remain just as watchable as the day they were released.
10 Dracula is a romance for vampire lovers
Vampires have been a staple of cinema since the medium’s early years, and the attraction to vampire films has proven to last. This attraction most likely stems from Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the title character in Dracula. Based on Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name, Dracula tells the story of a not-so-subtle immortal count who becomes obsessed with a human woman after meeting her in a theater.
While Dracula’s attempts to win over Mina Seward cause trouble and death for those around her, the story at its core serves as an aesthetically pleasing gothic romance.
9 Frankenstein is a heartbreaking experiment gone wrong
Mary Shelley’s 1818 experimental horror novel Frankenstein (or The modern Prometheus) was filmed in 1931. It stars Boris Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as the creepy scientist Dr. to see Frankenstein. As classic as the novel is, the film became a cultural icon, and many people still refer to Frankenstein’s monster as “Frankenstein” today.
10 Movie Characters With The Most Iterations (Not From DCEU Or MCU)Frankenstein’The starting point is the complex idea of bringing the dead back to life. The plot revolves around a very human conceit – life after death – although Dr. Frankenstein’s approach is ethically questionable. When Frankenstein’s plan to restore life succeeds, the result is a screw-necked, messy man who is lost, confused, and angry when his creator abandons him and society rejects him.
8th Alien gave way to sci-fi heroines
While sci-fi horror was nothing new in pop culture, Ridley Scotts was extraterrestrial took the genre to a whole new level. When the crew aboard the starship Nostromo are awakened by a distress call from a nearby moon, they stop to investigate.
While leaving the ship to investigate an alien spacecraft, some crew members unknowingly bring with them a parasitic creature that would eventually kill every member except for Ellen Ripley and the cat Jones. Despite her best efforts to protect her crew and eliminate the terrifying monster, she narrowly escapes. She would eventually return for several sequels that put Ripley on top.
7 The invisible man is a terrifying concept
The terrifying concept of a man who could become completely invisible and wreak havoc was realized in the 1933 film. The Invisible Man. While there have been multiple iterations over the years, the original film stunned audiences with cutting-edge technology that proved to be as terrifying as it was inventive.
Although previous Universal Horror classics saw monsters take lives, The Invisible Man is not afraid to have one of the highest kill numbers. The main character, a scientist, Jack Griffin, abuses his successful experiment to become invisible by wreaking complete havoc in a small town.
6 The Bride of Frankenstein has become a staple
Despite being on screen for just under 5 minutes, The Bride has become a surprisingly well-known image for the classic horror in the sequel to Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein completes Mary Shelley’s story with the creature having gained more intellect and confidence.
Frankenstein’s monster asks for a mate, to which its creator and a fellow scientist respond by recreating a body they would bring to life for him, in this case a woman. Instead of willingly submitting to the stranger, she ends up sadly (but understandably) repelling him.
5 The fly gave flies a disturbing look up close
Although the 1958 film provided a good base, the 1986 was The fly Focus on Jeff Goldblum for a darker and more violent version of the story. as dr Seth Brundle innocently tries to test his teleportation device by sitting in it, a common housefly gets caught in the machine with him.
While the device proves reasonably successful at restoring (rather than teleporting), he becomes one with the fly on the other side. As Seth’s health initially appears to be changing for the better, he quickly deteriorates as he mutates into a hybrid fly.
4 Nosferatu is a creepy unofficial adaptation
The German silent film Nosferatu is one of the earliest vampire-centric films and remains an intriguing watch imbued with a sense of dread. While the filmmakers intended the film to be a direct adaptation of Bram Stokers DraculaStoker’s estate sued the creators, resulting in several copies being destroyed, adding even more excitement to the once elusive film.
Contrasting with the Stokers’ frustrations over copyright, the film is considered an influential cinema staple. The film takes itself seriously, portraying Count Orlok (or Dracula) in a truly impressive way and as a cold-hearted killer with a weakness for sunlight.
3 Night of the Living Dead was a reflection of social unrest
Horror filmmaker George A. Romero released his first feature film, night of the living dead, at the height of the civil rights movement in 1968. When a sudden zombie uprising takes over a rural town, a group of survivors find refuge in a farmhouse.
Although the film is a low budget film, the story doesn’t lack depth. Aside from being one of the earliest zombie horror films, it was analyzed and appreciated as a reflection of the civil rights movement of the time. With black actor Duane Jones as the main protagonist of the story (at a time when this was unprecedented) who ends up losing his life to other survivors, there is an interesting correlation to real life.
2 That thing triggers paranoia
When a group of researchers stationed in Antarctica come across a malformed organism, they study it. the thing is literally about a monstrous creature that can evolve and mimic living organisms. Before they can stop the thing’s further mutation, it continues to absorb and mimic the human researchers.
They recognize the universal danger of letting it escape, so they struggle through the dilemma of trying to tell the thing apart and destroy it. Eventually, the core group is reduced to two members, neither of whom knows if the other is the alien in disguise.
1 An American werewolf in London introduced impressive effects
The wolf man may be a classic, but werewolves get even more terrifying An American werewolf in London. It’s the story of two American friends who are backpacking through England when, despite warnings from the locals, they are attacked by a werewolf.
After one of the friends dies, his spirit visits David – who was passed the curse on – and tells him to end his life before he hurts anyone. A monumental scene ensues as David transforms into a werewolf where they use groundbreaking techniques to achieve the effect in the most gruesome of ways. Although the story has a sad ending, it remains a must read for werewolf fans.
NEXT: 10 Scariest Horror Movies Not Rated R