Universal Horror Films - Ranked
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Easily among the greatest sequels of all time. And so far it's the best Universal Horror film I've seen. Director James Whale approaches the Frankenstein monster with a completely different eye than what other directors have done later on, making the monster feel more human. This makes for a more interesting film than its predecessor, despite it being awesome as well. Frankenstein's monster is, perhaps, the greatest Universal monster. But he needs to be more than a stumbling, mumbling sleepwalking killer machine in order to be that.
And it's filled to the core with several thing to please horror fans. Terrific designs of the monsters, great sets, a lot of morbidity and humor, as well as several unforgettable moments. They don't make them like this anymore.
Amazing Horror Films by Hootsaidtheowl (list)
Strong sequel! by PvtCaboose91 (review)
The Wolf Man is almost all about Lon Chaney's performance as the cursed man. He is outstanding. His mournful eyes and overall panic-inducing performance lends perfectly well to the mood and atmosphere of The Wolf man, creating a film that's just as sorrowful as it is thrilling.
It's also shot very well and it makes great use of its misty forest to set the tone. It's all about building up the atmosphere and then to unleash it into the terror once the moment is right. There are not a lot of kills or creature action in it and in that regard, it might be slightly tamer than some of the other Universal horror films, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. The Wolf Man is an overall well-made horror classic and a very enjoyable film experience.
Frankenstein's greatest asset lies in its characterization of The monster and Boris Karloff's portrayal of him. He embodies a monster that is truly horrifying in its simplicity. The scene that have him drown a little girl after harmlessly playing with her is truly terrifying. Yet he manages to evoke some sort of sympathy through his constant look of confusion and fear. It's truly an iconic performance.
Sadly I think the film itself has lost some of its magic. At least since the first time I saw it. Aside from a few scenes, most notably the famous creation-scene, I think the film drags too much and it's occasionally hampered by logical decisions from some of the human characters that makes very little sense. Even for that time and moment. The human characters are the weakest aspect and very little of their interactions with each other are as interesting as The monster himself. In many ways, I actually think Frankenstein would have benefited from being a silent film. Just so that the mood and atmosphere would be allowed even more space than what it currently has.
This modern update of The Mummy is basically a display in special effects and ludicrously over-the-top action. It replaces the mood and atmosphere of the 1932 version with fast-paced action and an enjoyable sense of humor. There's not a lot of depth here and the special effects are rather outdated when compared to films of today, but that doesn't take anything away from how much fun this film is. It's a roller-coaster ride of thrills and fun.
There are many things about this film that's completely wonderful. The most obvious thing is the actual design of the costume for the creature, which is unbelievably cool. I also dig the musical score that appears every time he's on the screen. He might be a little bit overused, but he's so cool that its forgivable. There are also some very nice photography in this film, particularly the underwater scenes, which are gorgeous.
It might feel a bit long towards the end and I'm also slightly disappointed by the ending, which felt rather anticlimactic. And then there is the thing that none of the actors stick out. I barely remember them, but again, why should I? The creature is enough to make this a rather entertaining film.
My favorite Horror movies - 50s by the giraffe (list)
Dracula Untold (2014)
Dracula Untold may not be a "great cinematic film", but I'm willing to say that it was a great experience. A guilty pleasure, you may say. It's visually slick, provides some cool ideas, features entertaining and well-shot action, and the vampires are as cool and frightening as they're supposed to be. The Vlad The Impaler angle worked very well.
I also enjoyed Luke Evans performance, and Charles Dance was absolutely delightful. A CGI-fest like this is not going to be for everyone, but I very much welcome Dracula Untold.
The Mummy is all about the mood and atmosphere. It does a good job of establishing a slightly eerie feeling and it keeps that feeling running all the way through. Boris Karloff is a wonderful mummy and the rest of the cast is fine as well. It moves at a frisk pace and it never feels like it drags along. The ending is a bit too rushed, but I guess that with the limitations of that time, one can't expect too much.
Phantom of the Opera (1943)
An exceptional performance from Claude Rains. This Phantom of the Opera might not be as well-known as the version from 1925 featuring Lon Chaney Sr. as The Phantom, which I unfortunately haven't seen, but this is nevertheless an enjoyable entry into the Universal Horror collection.
I do also think that The Phantom is one of the more interesting horror characters. There is something about a musician that lives under an opera that's intriguing to me. The problem with this film for me, however, was that there were way too much opera music for my taste. I grew pretty sick of it eventually.
55 Greatest Horror Performances! by Happy Vader (list)
Do I think that this is a particularly good film? No. Do I think that it's trash? Yeah. Do I think it's enjoyable trash? Hell yeah. It's another guilty pleasure of mine. It's just campy fun with a cool Hugh Jackman and a sexy Kate Beckinsale together with several monsters, who are all campy and goofy. It's delightful.
And it's also a film that I've got some nostalgia towards, meaning that I just can't bring myself to hate it, despite its massive flaws. It's a curious thing, nostalgia.
Lame? I don't care, I love it! by Lee (list)
Quite Standard, Monster Hunter film... by AgentLexi (review)
The special effects of this film are even more outdated than they were in its predecessor. The Rock as the Scorpion King looks like something taken straight from an early Playstation 2 title. That being said, The Mummy Returns is a lot of fun. It carries over the same pace, energy, humor and eye for exhilarating action that made The Mummy such a good time. It's also surprisingly emotional due to the characters being extremely likable. The film is dumber than a pile of rocks, but it works astonishingly well as some sort of guilty pleasure.
Dracula is not as good as my memory or its reputation would lead you to believe. For that, it's way too uneven. Even for its time. The first 30 minutes are however excellent. Brilliantly atmospheric with an underlying terror with great sets and memorable dialogue. Bela Lugosi makes the title character his own. He's menacing and charismatic, as well as suitably weird as Dracula. The lingering shots of Lugosi staring and stalking his prey are excellent for this film.
Yet, the film starts to fall slightly apart once Dracula arrives London. It becomes monotonous and repetitive. There are far too many scenes of characters either standing or sitting around to talk about the plot or explain vampire mythology. All of this leading up to an anti climatic ending. It's not particularly exciting or interesting, and it loses the atmosphere that the first act so brilliantly created. Lugosi takes a sudden backseat and the screen is instead filled with too many uninteresting characters, as well as some unnecessary comedic relief. It doesn't really help that the film is really showing how outdated it is when you can almost see the strings on the bats that shows up way too often.
Dracula is very much a result of its time. There are parts that works really well, even to this date, but there are too much of it that has aged horribly.
Oddly enough, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is at its best before anything about Frankenstein is included into the film. Up to that, the film is quite good, brilliantly mixing camp and creepiness together with atmosphere. Then it falls apart like a house of cards.
We get to witness a completely bonkers musical number that seems eagerly out of place, but that's not the worst thing. It's that Frankenstein's monster is a complete letdown. Because of editing, he appears more like a deranged sleepwalker than a dangerous monster. The ultimate showdown between the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's monster is also disappointing, ending in a huge anti-climax. Good beginning, starts getting weaker towards the middle and the ending is bad.
Ultimate Horror Classics by carryonbuff (list)
The Mummy (2017)
If only The Mummy were as dedicated to telling its own story as it was to trying to start a new franchise. This film is all about world building as it's trying to set up a "Dark Universe", in which Universal's horror monsters can roam together. From the very moment the film introduces us to Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll, the film loses whatever momentum it had going. It turns into an unfocused mess that sacrifices the story and characters in The Mummy for what's coming next instead.
This is all a shame, as there are parts of The Mummy that works quite well. All of this is mostly during the first act. There are a few entertaining action scenes and the visuals are well-done. Tom Cruise is always likeable in his films just because he's Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella is a convincing mummy. I'm interested in Universal monster films, but this should have been better.
The Wolfman (2010)
What we have here is a remake of the brilliant The Wolf Man and every thing that made The Wolf Man an exceptional horror film is absent in this boring horror film. There is absolutely no atmosphere, mood or sense of terror.
Instead, the filmmakers seems to believe that just because they are able to create a believable transformation and quite good special effects, we'll have a good film. That's not the case, instead The Wolfman seems to suffer from a lack of ambitions and it's very poorly paced, resulting in it being plain boring at times. The casting is also a bit off, with only Hugo Weaving being decent. Benicio Del Toro is miscast and Anthony Hopkins is on autopilot.
Werewolf/Lycanthropy Cinema by KCenturion (list)
Uneasy, poorly-paced and lacking humanity by PvtCaboose91 (review)
This film didn't work for me. It was just bad, without having any charm whatsoever. Its biggest and most obvious issue is the first 30 minutes, which includes Dracula. John Carradine ain't Dracula. His Dracula is just a silly, laughable plastic bat. There's no menace around him. He's just a silly fool that serves absolutely no purpose and he's gone just as quickly as he arrived, taking half the film with him. What a waste.
Then there is the second half, which is full of inconsistencies, both plot-wise and logic-wise, resulting into a rather confusing mess of a second half. And yet again we get to witness an anticlimatic ending. What's the point of having Frankenstein's monster there if your just gonna keep him in the background til its like five minutes left?
The Great -Actor Boris Karloff by carryonbuff (list)
Like the other The Mummy films, the special effects of Tomb of the Dragon Emperor looks rather outdated. This is a much severe issue here, seeing as there's a seven year gap between this one and The Mummy Returns. Though they have improved since that, if only slightly. That is however not the biggest problem with this film. A film that more than likely killed Brendan Fraser's career and hope of future stardom. The issue is that they had to replace Rachel Weisz with Maria Bello. A lot of the heart of the two predecessors comes from the chemistry and relationship between Fraser and Weisz. Bello does her best, but chemistry is something that you can't force. It has to come naturally, and the energy that Fraser and Weisz shared is something that can't be duplicated. This naturally affects Fraser's performance as well and he comes across as a very limited actor. Naturally, it doesn't help that the script is a lot worse than what they've usually been.
In other word - this film should have been shelved the moment they realized Rachel Weisz wouldn't return.
Thanks to this wonderful list Universal Horror I've decided to create a list that ranks the Universal Horror Films that I've seen in an order from best to worst.
21 votesBml93's other "Best to Worst" lists (18 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 6 years, 2 months ago
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