When it comes to all-time great movies in the horror movie, there are plenty of classics. However, many modern day horror fans tend to focus on the films full of colorful images of blood, gore, and terror. Surprisingly, there are more than a handful of black and white horror movies worth watching, more than a few times. Here are five of the all-time best in the category.
Travel back to 1922 when horror got a serious kickstart from Nosferatu, a movie which first arrived in Germany. It’s one of the earliest films to really help tell the horrifying tale of Count Dracula (changed to Count Orlok), based on the famous Bram Stoker horror novel. The film also came under controversy as Stoker’s heirs sued and the court ruled that all copies must be destroyed. However, just like the Dracula tale, copies have survived for horror fans to check out in the modern day.
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Yet another 1920’s classic, this isn’t just in black and white, but also completely silent. This early horror film is about a hypnotist who takes control of a sleepwalker. While that sounds like a fun concept, the hypotist also hasan evil nature to him. Rather than using the hypnotic power for party games, he uses his subject to kill off people. Horror fans and film enthusiasts alike will find plenty to appreciate when viewing this classic.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Jack Finney’s “The Body Snatchers” provided source material for this film about alien invaders who take over human bodies as their hosts. The 1950s movie also had a smart political undercurrent as it was during the time of McCarthyism, where everyone was suspicious of those around them. This gripping terror worked very well as early black and white sci-fi/horror and even saw a 1978 remake done in color which is also stellar.
Any all-time great list of horror movies should include this 1960s classic from director Alfred Hitchcock. It tells the story of Norman Bates and his psychotic tendencies based on a strange relationship with his mother. Despite being a black and white film, viewers felt the terror of many moments in the film. The film helped Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh became household names, with Perkins appearing in three sequels for this box office hit. The screaming shower murder scene is also considered iconic in horror to this day.
Night of the Living Dead
The zombie genre has come a long way, but this classic helped launch the concept. This was the debut film from director George A. Romero and it certainly delivered back in 1968. It features the tale of seven people who become trapped in a farmhouse as zombies descend upon the area looking for consumable flesh. The film spawned plenty of sequels, spinoffs, and reboots, and cost just $114,000 to film near Pittsburgh. Compared to today’s high-cost CGI-driven horror, this one still stands the test of time.
Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.