The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Now this is the Phantom movie we wanted. Hauntingly atmospheric with a genuine mystery pulling us along, we would watch this movie without Lon Chaney's tantalizing performance. But of course, that's just what places this film on every horror fan's "essential movie list". Director: Rupert JulianWritten by: Elliot J. ClawsonRuntime: 101 minutesUS Release:  September 6, 1925; Universal Pictures Based … Continue reading The Phantom of the Opera (1925)


The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not only does Bride of Frankenstein continue the story where Frankenstein (1931) left off, but builds upon it. This automatically makes it a good sequel - what makes it a great film is a complicated layering of metaphor, allegory, and thematic undertones. Director: James WhaleWritten by: William Hurlbut, Runtime: 75 minutesUS Release:  April 20, 1935; Universal Pictures The film … Continue reading The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Phantom of the Opera (1943)

The Phantom of the Opera has a long and storied history of adaptations. Despite having so much going for it, Claude Rains' turn as the masked maestro struggles to overcome certain fatal flaws. Director: Arthur LubinWritten by: Samuel Hoffenstein, Eric TaylorRuntime: 92 minutesUS Release:  August 12, 1943; Universal Pictures Eighteen years after the 1925 silent adaptation starring Lon Chaney, … Continue reading Phantom of the Opera (1943)

The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Or as others may say, "The Shadow of Frankenstein". The fourth film in the classic Universal series is a fall from grace compared to the proceeding three; budgets, runtime, and marquee actors are all downsized. Despite the newly minted B-movie status, however, there is enough spooky charm to make Ghost of Frankenstein worthwhile. Director: Erle C. … Continue reading The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Considered Universal's last "good" Frankenstein, this third installment in the Karloff trilogy certainly offers much for horror fans. Nevertheless, the wicked vision of James Whale and vulnerable humanity of Boris Karloff are starkly absent, and at times sorely missed. Director: Rowland V. LeeWritten by: Willis CooperRuntime: 99 minutesUS Release:  January 13, 1939; Universal Pictures Left to do the heavy … Continue reading Son of Frankenstein (1939)