‘Tis the spooky season, and although we like to consider watching horror movies a 365-days-a-year kind of thing, there’s nothing like a brisk October evening to get us raiding our Blu-ray cabinet to spin some classic chillers. Like the good Doctor Frankenstein, we’ve stitched together a list of 10 of the Best Classic Horror Movies to fill you with frights right up until Halloween night… and beyond.
This list happens to coincide with Criterion Collection‘s excellent new Cat People Blu-ray, which features a great 2008 documentary “The Man in the Shadows” celebrating the life of producer Val Lewton, one of several genre pioneers highlighted in our own list. In the gallery below you’ll find films by lauded filmmakers of old such as Tod Browning (Dracula, London After Midnight), James Whale (Frankenstein, The Old Dark House) and Roger Corman (The Pit and the Pendulum, The Trip). If you are looking for more from Lewton — who exemplified the “less is more” approach to scaring audiences — we recommend 1943’s I Walked With a Zombie, the 1945 Boris Karloff starrer Isle of the Dead and, of course, the 1944 sequel Curse of the Cat People.
Unlike some of our lists, which seek to anoint the “10 Best” of a subject, there are just too many amazing terror flicks from the 1920s through the 1960s. With that in mind, we simply selected some really great ones that you may or may not have already seen, but all of which are time-tested stand-bys that still pack a punch in the frights department. Check them out below!