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Added by Bml93

on 21 Dec 2012 03:22

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Universal Horror Films - Best to Worst

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People who added this item 633  Average listal rating (376 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 7.9 
1. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

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.

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People who added this item 389  Average listal rating (270 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.4 
2. The Wolf Man (1941)

Featuring a terrific performance by Lon Chaney Jr. as the cursed Wolf Man. A terrific horror film that proves that you can get the atmosphere right. The Wolf Man is a prime example of a film that manages to get the necessary mood right, creating an atmospheric film that's more frightening than several horror films today.

It's the combination of the great use of the misty clouded forest, great cinematography and the melancholic music that makes The Wolf Man such a thrilling and enjoyable film. A true delight and one of the best films in its genre.

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People who added this item 890  Average listal rating (528 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating
3. Frankenstein (1931)

It might not be as brilliant as The Bride of Frankenstein but it shouldn't lose any credit because of that. It's still a brilliant piece of work. A carefully crafted, imaginative horror film that wins me over with its unique design, charm and historical moments.

Boris Karloff is Frankenstein's monster. While other actors certainly have given their best shot at trying to capture the monster, no one is as mesmerizing as Karloff. Not even the great Robert De Niro managed to outshine Karloff when he had a go at the role several decades later. There can only be one and it is Karloff.

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People who added this item 4550  Average listal rating (3136 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating
4. The Mummy (1999)

A more modern Universal horror film, and not really a true horror film. The remake of The Mummy is basically a display in special effects and a ludicrously over-the-top action film. But what an entertaining action film it is! It's a film that, probably, could be ripped apart, but it's a true guilty pleasure of mine.

It's also a film I have a nostalgic feel towards. It's a feel I saw a lot when I was much younger and dumber and I've always enjoyed it for what it is. A fast-paces roller coaster ride with plenty of action. It might be slightly outdated now, but then again, so are most films on this list.

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People who added this item 335  Average listal rating (243 ratings) 6.9  IMDB Rating
5. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

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.

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People who added this item 3298  Average listal rating (2190 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 6.3 
6. The Mummy Returns (2001)

I do have to admit that when I was younger, much younger, there were a particular moment in this film that actually nearly made me cry. When we are led to believe that Rachel Weisz's character dies. Naturally, she comes back, so she doesn't die. I thought it was incredibly sad and it's because I had managed to establish a some kind of relationship with the characters. They charmed their way into my heart back then and I'm still rather fond of this film. Even now that I see its many weaknesses.

Because, if the first film was dumb then this film makes the first film look like a Stanley Kubrick masterpiece. It's just another showcase in special effects, a dumb action film. But it's very entertaining and I like the characters. Sue me.

The Mummy (Series) by Manling (list)
Extremely stupid, albeit entertaining adventure! by PvtCaboose91 (review)
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People who added this item 764  Average listal rating (468 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.6 
7. Dracula (1931)

The most well-known film about Dracula? Possibly. It's also the film that's Bela Lugosi is most well-known for, even if he has had a crack at Frankenstein's monster. And for me, it's Lugosi's acting as Dracula that makes this film good. He's charming, menacing and terrifying. While he's not as scary as a vampire as Max Schreck in Nosferatu, he manages to bring with him an atmosphere that makes Dracula an enjoyable experience.

Unfortunately, age hasn't been kind to this film. It's terribly outdated and technically it's not particularly good. Especially not when compared to like, The Mummy (1932). It's filled with technical problems, but it's the atmosphere, the despair and the shivers it gives you that makes up for what it lacks in technicality.

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People who added this item 227  Average listal rating (188 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 6.3 
8. 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.

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People who added this item 312  Average listal rating (213 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.2 
9. The Mummy (1932)

Without doing any particular research on it, I do believe that this film had a higher budget than many of the other Universal Horror films that came out around this year. Because it's a film that's technically strong for its time, and the sets and costumes are brilliant. It's also a film that's loads of fun to begin with, even if it's a bit similar to Dracula.

But it does eventually start testing my patience and the end is a huge anti-climax that doesn't exactly reward my patience. But mummies are enjoyable and Boris Karloff is wonderful as a mummy.

Mummies! by diabolical dr voodoo (list)
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People who added this item 130  Average listal rating (76 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.5 
10. 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.

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People who added this item 3283  Average listal rating (2234 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating
11. Van Helsing (2004)

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.

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People who added this item 111  Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.3  IMDB Rating 6.5 
12. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

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)
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People who added this item 1089  Average listal rating (691 ratings) 5.6  IMDB Rating 5.8 
13. 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.

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Uneasy, poorly-paced and lacking humanity by PvtCaboose91 (review)
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People who added this item 93  Average listal rating (67 ratings) 6.2  IMDB Rating 6.2 
14. House of Frankenstein (1944)

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)
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People who added this item 1208  Average listal rating (760 ratings) 4.9  IMDB Rating 5.2 
15. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

What a huge disappointment this film was. When it was made clear that Rachel Weisz wouldn't return to reprise her role, this film should have been shelved. Maria Bello failed in her try to bring out the same energy, charm and emotion that Weisz succeeded with. And it's easy to see that this affected Brendan Fraser as well. He is completely absent. His charm is gone and he has no chemistry with Bello.

There is nothing in this film that even remotely reminds me of the two previous films that I enjoyed. This is just a generic, empty, hollow special effect showcase. The effects might be good and there are some decent action scenes here, but where is the heart? The emotion? The risk and danger? It's not here.

I want a refund (Movies that SUCK) by the giraffe (list)
Just not the same. by The Cinephile (review)
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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.

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Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Dec 21 16:46
Impressive list. Well done!

Thanks for adding one my lists!
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Dec 21 23:20
Awesome job, my friend!

Thanks for linking to a couple of my lists. :)
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Dec 22 1:49
Nice list! Good job on the commentary. And thanks for the list link too.
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Jan 2 5:54
I 100% agree that The Bride of Frankenstein is indeed the best of the bunch!
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Jan 2 13:56
Hell, the only thing I would change here would be to put the Wolfman remake a couple notches higher. Other than that, it looks just like I would have placed them. Weird! ;)
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Jan 2 14:26
I really like this list! Great choice of movies and comment.
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Jan 2 19:38
Great list, brilliant choices

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