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11 Must-Watch Horror Films From The 1940s

Creature features, psychological horror, and a hidden painting.

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1. Dr. Cyclops (1940)

Paramount Pictures / Via rhetthammersmithhorror.tumblr.com

Basic Plot: Peruvian jungle + Mad scientist + Miniaturization = Dr. Cyclops.

Fun Fact: This film was nominated for Best Visual/Special Effects at the Academy Awards.

2. The Wolf Man (1941)

Universal Pictures / Via chaboneobaiarroyoallende.tumblr.com

Basic Plot: Lycanthropy + Gypsy + Silver walking stick = The Wolf Man.

Fun Fact: Bela Lugosi, best known for playing Dracula, plays the gypsy's son.

3. Cat People (1942)

RKO Radio Pictures Inc. / Via mothgirlwings.tumblr.com

Basic Plot: Serbian immigrant + Cats + Sexual arousal = Cat People

Fun Fact: Producer Val Lewton preferred using psychological horror in his films, rather than physical horror.

4. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Basic Plot: Trapped in ice + Ensemble of monsters + Fighting = Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.Fun Fact: This film marks the fifth installment in the Frankenstein series for Universal Studios.
Universal Studios / Via willmckinley.tumblr.com

Basic Plot: Trapped in ice + Ensemble of monsters + Fighting = Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.

Fun Fact: This film marks the fifth installment in the Frankenstein series for Universal Studios.

5. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

RKO Radio Pictures / Via filmconnoisseur.blogspot.com

Basic Plot: Sugar plantation + Fever + Voodoo = I Walked with a Zombie.

Fun Fact: Edith Barrett was only three years older than James Ellison, even though they were supposed to be mother and son.

6. Son of Dracula (1943)

Universal Pictures / Via littleplasticthings.tumblr.com

Basic Plot: Count Alucard + Vampirism + Fire = Son of Dracula.

Fun Fact: This film marks the first time a vampire changes into a bat onscreen.

7. House of Frankenstein (1944)

Universal Studios / Via giphy.com

Basic Plot: Mad scientist + Tons of monsters + Death = House of Frankenstein.

Fun Fact: The Mummy was supposed to be a character in the film, but had to be scrapped due to financial reasons.

8. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Via bellecs.tumblr.com

Basic Plot: Eternal beauty + Hidden Painting + Murder = The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Fun Fact: Dorian Gray's painting is the only thing shown in color. This occurs four different times throughout the film.

9. House of Horrors (1946)

Basic Plot: Sculpting + "The Creeper" + Death to critics = House of Horrors.Fun Fact: This film was supposed to spark a series of "Creeper" films, but only managed to produce two after star Rondo Hatton died.
Universal Pictures / Via monsters4ever.com

Basic Plot: Sculpting + "The Creeper" + Death to critics = House of Horrors.

Fun Fact: This film was supposed to spark a series of "Creeper" films, but only managed to produce two after star Rondo Hatton died.

10. Scared to Death (1947)

Basic Plot: Death by fear + Magicians + Nazis = Scared to Death.Fun Fact: This film is the only color film Bela Lugosi starred in.
Screen Guild Productions / Via rdhorrorproject.blogspot.com

Basic Plot: Death by fear + Magicians + Nazis = Scared to Death.

Fun Fact: This film is the only color film Bela Lugosi starred in.

11. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Universal Studios / Via monsterman.tumblr.com

OKAY, it's more of a comedy, but we're including it anyway.

Basic Plot: Comedy duo + A gaggle of monsters + Confusion = Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Fun Fact: This film is considered by organizations such as the American Film Institute and Reader's Digest Magazine as one of the funniest movies in cinema history.

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