Best Horror Films From The 1920 To The 1929

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

Best Horror Films From The 1920 To The 1929

Films tend to spotlight society. So the movies reflected the decade as life reflected the prosperity of the time.  The world had came out of a world war that was suppose to end all wars, while technology seemed to advance at a rate never before seen. With new technology, people had more leasure time.  The times looked as if a new understanding and brotherhood were now the norm.  So civilization went from a grim facade to one of happiness and hope.  So too did the movies become more adventureous and risky in the stories they told. This decade holds some of my favorite films.  So lets go over some of the greatest horror films from the roaring 20‘s.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 1920

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses somnambulist(sleepwalkers), to commit murders.  
This is one of the best known surrealist films ever made.  The movie uses a dream or altered reality to reflect the world of Dr. Caligari. We see the world through the insane eyes of the deranged Dr.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1920

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself. 
John Barrymore is excellent as Dr. Jekyll.  He transforms with little makeup into the brutish  Mr. Hyde.  This is the first full movie role of Brandon Hurst.

Häxan 1922

Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe. 
Considered “absolutely unfit for public exhibition”, the world (except for Scandinavian countries) never saw the full version til 1941.

The Headless Horseman 1922

The village of Sleepy Hollow is getting ready to greet the new schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane, who is coming from New York. 
The first feature photographed on panchromatic negative film. 

Nosferatu 1922

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a Weisberg, Germany residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. 
The very first Dracula film.  But Stoker’s estate did not allow it so all prints were destroyed.  But some copies were not destroyed in other countries.  This is the film where sunlight is deadly to vampires, and has been part of the myth ever since(that’s right kids, Dracula is really a day-walker).

The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923

In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.  
The first of Lon Chaney horror classics.  Before this Cheney was considered a bit player. If you know sign language, Chaney is signing throughout the film.  Both parents were deaf so he was signing to them.

The Monster 1925

A meek store clerk who doubles as an amateur detective investigates some very strange goings-on at a remote mental sanitarium.
This is an antecedental Old Dark House movies.  Chaney is very charming and frighting as the Dr. Ziska.

The Phantom of the Opera 1925

At the Opera of Paris, a mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.
This is by some the best preformance of Lon Chaney.  The buildup to the revealing of his face is one of the biggest shockers in movie history.  Universal did not release any pictures of Chaney in makeup.  So when revealed, some people in the audience actually fainted and had to be taking out of the theatre.

Wolf Blood: A Tale of the Forest 1925

After a wolf blood transfusion, field boss of the Ford Logging Company thinks he's becoming a wolf. 
This is the oldest surviving werewolf film. 

The Bells 1926
An innkeeper murders a wealthy guest to pay off his debt, but his conscience will not allow him to get away with the crime so easily.
This is a overlooked classic.  It stars two giants of early cinema; Lionel Barrymore and Boris Karloff.

The Cat and the Canary 1927

Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.
The Cat and the Canary became the most influential in the old dark house genre of films popular from the 1930s through the 1950s.

The Terror 1928

Guests at an old English manor house are stalked by a mysterious killer known only as The Terror. 
Some say this is the original slasher film, but what isn’t debatable is that it is the first horror film with sound.  Unfortunately it is lost, the only thing we have is the sound and a few screen shots from the film.

Share this article on: