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Classic Black & White Horror Flicks to Watch This Halloween
October 30, 2021
Halloween is all about horror flicks, isn't it? Especially these days when the world is still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, going trick-or-treating or holding Halloween parties aren't exactly appropriate to do yet. So, when you're stuck at home, what do you do? Watch a horror movie, of course! The genre is filled with amazing films, ranging from the psychological to the gory. You'll have no problem looking for a good movie, that's for sure. However, why not go a little differently this year? A black and white film might prove to be a great choice, especially if it's one of these unforgettable classics.
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)
Back in the 1920s, during the height of silent films, 'Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror' premiered and took the world by storm. The German Expressionist horror flick became an instant favorite among audiences and was one of the first of its kind to feature a vampire on-screen. The story, loosely based on Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and follows many elements from the novel. This includes the imposing castle as the main setting, Count Orlok's bloodlust, and even the coffin as a resting place.
Source: Cult Cinema Classics YouTube Channel
The Phantom of The Opera (1925)
Before the romanticization of the broadway musical hit that the world is more familiar with nowadays, 'The Phantom of The Opera' was always and still is a horror classic. Gaston Leroux's novel was all about a deformed figure who lurked in the shadows of the Opera Garnier in Paris—which still stands in the 9th arrondissement of the city. The gruesome and more sinister nature of the story was best illustrated in its most horrific in the 1025 silent film of the same name. Here, the great Lon Chaney gave birth to an iconic movie monster that, in many ways, trumps the romantic anti-hero from the Broadway musical.
Source: Movie Hub YouTube Channel
Going back to Dracula, the famous monster finally made his on-screen debut in the 1931 hit horror movie, 'Dracula.' Adapted from Bram Stoker's novel, it tells the classic tale of the Transylvanian count who charmed people by day but sucked out their blood by night. Hungarian-American actor Bela Lugosi portrayed Dracula in the film, giving birth to the black-caped and slick-haired vampire the world knows today. And since the film was released during the advent of the 'talkies,' this film was one of the first horror movies to feature dialogue in Hollywood history.
Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers YouTube Channel
Apparently, 1931 was a great year for monster movies. In the same year that 'Dracula' premiered, Universal Pictures released the first-ever film adaptation of another classic horror novel, Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein.' The movie tells the story of Dr. Henry Frankenstein, a mad scientist of sorts who, alongside his hunchbacked assistant named Fritz, pieced-together body parts from different corpses and created a monster made out of the dead. Without a soul, the monster wreaked havoc all over the village in the Bavarian Alps, where the story and the movie were set.
Source: Movieclips YouTube Channel
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
Within the busy streets of London, home of the Queen and the British nobility, Dorian Gray lived as a handsome and wealthy young man. One would think he had it all and thus, enjoyed his life to the fullest, but his obsession with preserving his youthfulness became the basis for Oscar Wilde's 1890 horror novel, 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' as well as its 1945 film adaptation. The latter, which featured movie legends like Peter Lawford and Angela Lansbury, became one of the most iconic in cinematic history.
Source: Warner Bros. YouTube Channel
Dead of Night (1945)
In the same year as 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' another British black and white horror flick premiered and sent shivers down the audiences' spines, the anthology film, 'Dead of Night.' Set in Kent, a country in the English countryside located in southeastern England, It features a total of six different horror stories which all started as 'dreams' of Walter Craig, owner of a cottage in the country. In his dreams, he saw the demise of his houseguest which, to his horror, all came true one after another.
Source: Tis Done YouTube Channel
Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller, 'Psycho,' is undoubtedly the most iconic horror flick of all time, isn't it? Even if you're not a fan of the genre, you've surely seen the film's famous 'shower scene' parodied in other movies, TV series, comedy sketch shows, and the like. Featuring the horrific murders of the psychotic Norman Bates, not even the black and white colors can block the gore and brutality in this historic piece of cinema. 'Unforgettable' doesn't even begin to describe this movie!
Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers YouTube Channel
The Last Man on Earth (1964)
Being the last only man on Earth already sounds like a scary idea, what more if you're the only intelligent human amidst a sea of vampires and the undead? Well, that's what the 1964 black and white horror classic, 'The Last Man on Earth' is all about! Starring the 'Master of Horror,' Vincent Price as Dr. Robert Morgan, the titular 'last man,' the film tells the story of a sole survivor of a plague that transformed humans into vampiric monsters. Every single day, he has to gather weapons and hunt for vampires, counting off the days until he meets his own demise.
Source: ARF YouTube Channel
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Although the 1968 film, 'Night of the Living Dead,' was an independent film, it eventually became a Hollywood classic. Giving birth to the zombie sub-genre, the film chronicles Ben, Barbra, and many others as they try to survive a zombie apocalypse. Though they face all sorts of horrific situations, they kept pushing forward, hoping to teach the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, as this is a horror flick, don't expect a happy ending for both Ben and Barbra!
Source: Timeless Classic Movies YouTube Channel
Just because these classic horror flicks are old, it doesn't mean they're boring! On the contrary, these classics are the best to watch this Halloween as you spend the holiday at home once again.