Horror symphony Nosferatu 1922 Bat-eared Murnau’s unofficial version of Bram Stoker’s novel, which enraged the author’s widow and was initially denied certification by British censors, made Max Schreck an early classic film vampire. To this day, copies and parodies exist despite the fact that the film’s original prints and negatives were destroyed as part of a settlement in a lawsuit.
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1. Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
In 1931, Dracula was released. Tod Browning uses the stage play that Bela Lugosi had already appeared in and received critical praise for as his inspiration for his adaptation of Stoker. By night, George Melford directed Carlos Villaras in the Spanish-language version of the film, which some fans consider to be more stylish than the English-language version.
Frankenstein1931 I exclaimed, “It’s breathing!” As in James Whale’s stage rendition of Mary Shelley’s novel, Colin Clive portrays his groundbreaking portrayal of the doctor who would be God in this film adaption. Lugosi claimed he rejected the “monster” role because it was a non-speaking character, leaving Boris Karloff to fill the shoes of the creature and Jack Pierce in the makeup department. Bride of Frankenstein is a rare example of a sequel that is on par with or perhaps better than the original in terms of quality.
When Rebecca was born in 1940, “The specter of this woman cast a pall over their relationship!’ Nic Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds are both adaptations of Daphne Du Maurier’s spooky writing, but this narrative of a young woman living with the ghostly presence of her husband’s first wife is arguably the most rewarding. As Mr. and Mrs. de Winter, Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine are electrifying; Judith Anderson steals the show as scary Mrs. Danvers, the source for Aardman’s spooky penguin character.
Horror of Dracula1958’s Dracula The film that, along with The Curse of Frankenstein, established Hammer as Britain’s foremost producers of gothic screen shivers, a success story that would lead to the Queen’s Award for Industry a decade later, features Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as vampire and vampire hunter respectively. Terence Fisher’s directorial and Jimmy Sangster’s storyline are matched by James Bernard’s magnificent soundtrack.
5. Dracula aka Horror of Dracula
1961 Roger Corman, who directed such gothic masterpieces as The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Masque of the Red Death, was influenced by Edgar Allan Poe. In this gloriously overripe melodrama, the enormous swinging blade creeps steadily closer toward its victim – and toward us, the viewers – in maybe the most iconic image from his terrifying collection. Vincent Price is at his best as Nicholas Medina, the son of a diabolical torturer whose wife is said to have died of a blood disorder, but who appears to have died… of fear!
6. The Pit and the Pendulum
The Birth of a Rosemary, a 1968 Architecture of the Dakota in New York City, a neo-gothic structure that inspired the “Bramford building” in Ira Levin’s novel, embodies the conflict between ancient and modern. An old myth is brought to life in modern America by Roman Polanski’s interpretation of Levin’s source, which has a young woman claiming to be the mother of Satan’s child, feuding covens, noisy malevolent neighbors, and an Old Nick who appears post-psychedelic. Mia Farrow, who got divorce papers from Frank Sinatra during the filming of the melancholy title lullaby, sings it. Images courtesy of the REX/Moviestore Collection: Facebook and Twitter
7. Rosemary’s Baby
Suspiria Occult secrets lurk in the faculty enclave of an expensive European dance institution, which is attended by a young ballerina. An Italian-born filmmaker named Dario Argento produced a distinctive style of modern gothic horror that would influence films around the world for decades to come. Argento has a haunting resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe, who haunts him in his dreams, and he is known for his big, sweeping visuals and deep psycho-dramatic themes. As a 1970s horror star, Jessica Harper shines in the major role. Featured Image: Allstar Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
As Night Falls1987 Her bomb-disposal drama, The Hurt Locker, would make Kathryn Bigelow the first female director to win an Oscar for best director in 2009. Vampire tales have been around for centuries, but the current American gothic has given them a modern twist, making this a lusty tale of love and death that is both romantic and dangerous at the same time. To this day, the barroom scene in which Bill Paxton and his comrades drink local brew by the glass has become a staple in the modern horror genre’s canon. Images courtesy of the REX/Moviestore Collection: Facebook and Twitter
9. Near Dark
A Child’s Orphanage2007 In JA Bayona’s heartbreaking ghost story about lost children in search of a maternal guide, the influence of executive producer Guillermo del Toro can be clearly seen. The film draws on Robert Wise’s The Haunting, Alejandro Amenábar and Del Toro’s own underappreciated gem, The Devil’s Backbone, in equal measure. Sound design by Oriol Tarragó maintains tension levels high, while atmospheric graphics depict an other universe between dreams and the actual world.