Universal Horror Films - Best to Worst
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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.
Amazing Horror Films by Hootsaidtheowl (list)
Strong sequel! by PvtCaboose91 (review)
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.
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.
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.
Horror remakes worth watching by maris1013 (list)
An entertaining adventure romp! by PvtCaboose91 (review)
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)
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)
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 (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)
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)
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.
Lame? I don't care, I love it! by Lee (list)
Quite Standard, Monster Hunter film... by AgentLexi (review)
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)
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)
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)
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.
20 votesBml93's other "Best to Worst" lists (17 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 5 years, 9 months ago