Topic: Scariest classic horror films

So last time I created a thread en-titled best un-realistic horror films (TTFAW lol what's with that stupid title no wonder it has a low commercial reception, Dracula (1931) or sumthin' I dunno, Freaks...) yeah all those stuffs were unreal due to the fact that they aren't scary they're just scarier than movies that were made these days.
So I want some classic stuffs that are real scary excluding Psycho, Rosemary's Baby, The Fly which is funny but not scary at all...
Just... before The 40s or at least before The Fly.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Nosferatu, to this day, scares me.  It's from early 20's

Re: Scariest classic horror films

^^ Yeah I'll try to watch it. To say for real
Un Chien Andalou is the most scariest... actually is more disturbing than scary and one of the most realistic horror film ever made.

Last edited by A Lost Boy (2012-10-04 10:39:16)

Re: Scariest classic horror films

I thought Freaks from 1932 was scary, but just because of what it's about and how it's shown. It's a great movie too, one of my favorites.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

I can't agree more with Nosferatu. Easily the creepisest movie ever made. I don't know how scary they are, but I always enjoyed the Seventh Sign and the original Wolfman. Seventh Sign especially for it's time could have been a pretty disturbing movie.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Scavenger of Human Sorrow wrote:

I thought Freaks from 1932 was scary, but just because of what it's about and how it's shown. It's a great movie too, one of my favorites.

Agreed.  The climax, with the circus freaks crawling through the mud, revenge in their eyes, is the stuff of nightmares.  Though I do have to wonder how exactly that guy with no arms and no legs was planning on using that knife... lol

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Honestly none I've seen that are that old have scared me or even creeped me out. Really old horror just isn't my thing. I prefer 1960's and up.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Theli wrote:

I can't agree more with Nosferatu. Easily the creepisest movie ever made. I don't know how scary they are, but I always enjoyed the Seventh Sign and the original Wolfman. Seventh Sign especially for it's time could have been a pretty disturbing movie.

Your profile picture says it all.  I saw Nosferatu when I was a little kid (i'm only 26 but still a bit ago) and there being no noises you don't get the "waiting for something to happen" feeling, things just happen and come out of shadows.  Even to today's standards of horror films, Nosferatu is still very relevant.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Going from a modern perspective, I also have to go with Freaks.

It would be interesting to analyze this from the people of that time period.  I am way too versed in in films to even try and understand how some one in the 20s, 30s, or 40s would feel.  Anyone know of any books that approached that topic?

Re: Scariest classic horror films

^ I personally don't know any, but the film was banned in the UK for a long time, 30 years or so I think - was shown once and was banned once again I think. And then some of the people that took part in the movie afterwords had said they wish they didn't get involved claiming it was offensive to them.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Scavenger of Human Sorrow wrote:

^ I personally don't know any, but the film was banned in the UK for a long time, 30 years or so I think - was shown once and was banned once again I think. And then some of the people that took part in the movie afterwords had said they wish they didn't get involved claiming it was offensive to them.

Todd Browning himself I know worked with the circus prior to being a film maker, I think the film even sympathized with the "freaks", but there are definitely some seens of exploitation (then again they were all circus employees, and I'm sure that's at least as degrading). I think people had mixed emotions at the time, some people who were used to seeing them in circuses and what not were probably taken aback by the humanization of them,and may have felt guilt upon viewing the movie. While others who already sympathized probably saw the movie as a step back for their cause. No one left happy I'm sure.

I agree though the final scene in Freaks is absolutely chilling.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Tod Browning was from my home town (Louisville, KY).  He also directed the original Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, but for some reason not many people are aware of that. hmm

I remember reading in a book back in my teens (don't even think of asking me to remember the title) where it was mentioned that the nation was completely shocked when the film was released.  So shocked in fact that universal pulled the movie after less than two weeks in the theaters (IIRC) and for a long time Browning was all but blacklisted, and only made a handful of films after that.

One anecdote I recall is when Browning took all the "freaks" to the Universal commissary.  All these big stars of the day and producers and other directors were completely aghast.  But the "freaks" themselves ate it up.  They were starring in a movie, what did they care?  The same thing happened with the freaks in the movie The Sentinel (1977); cast and crew alike were completely disgusted by them but director Michael Winner didn't care.  He's said they were all wonderful people who, like the deformities in freaked, loved the attention and were just thrilled to be appearing in a movie.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

I heard that Freaks was ultra disturbing due to the fact that the people in there were mutants.
If Nosferatu had a creepy suspense clinging to it in every scene I'll watch it for sure.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

Lost Boy, Myself and The Creature do a horror podcast and we've become sort of horror historians.  There's a time period from the 20s-early 30s where horror was scary as it was simple and horror.  Of course, nothing compares to the jumps and jolts that today's films give us, but it was scary in a different way.  Sort of a rustic way.  Just like a kid, you're afraid of the boogeyman...those were the movies that brought the boogeyman to life.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

^^^ Yup yup.  The Cat and the Canary, The Old Dark House, Gaslight...all chillng films from that period.

Re: Scariest classic horror films

LoudLon wrote:

^^^ Yup yup.  The Cat and the Canary, The Old Dark House, Gaslight...all chillng films from that period.

I found the Cat and the Canary and The Old Dark House at times to be scary, but it many ways they were also the precursor to horror comedy.

Hunchback of Notredame, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Man Who Laughs, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Phantom of the Opera from the 20's were all pretty damn creepy movies.

Vampyr fromt he 30's was also a very creepy movie. Very surreal.

Last edited by Theli (2012-10-05 00:12:44)