Lockdown has plenty of us watching more films than ever before. While the coronavirus is undoubtedly scary enough on its ow, movies such as Contagion that portray the spread of deadly diseases have seen a rise in popularity due to the pandemic.
Also becoming more popular right now are horror movies. Perhaps this is simply as they take our minds off the current situation more effectively than other types of films. Classic horrors are therefore in demand right now – here are five of the very best black and white horror movies.
Alfred Hitchcock’s films can mostly be classed as thrillers rather than horrors, but there is no doubt he nudged over into another direction with his 1960 classic Psycho.
The story of an encounter between a secretary and the manager of the motel where she ends up staying, Psycho is a must-watch for all cinephiles. The shower scene is widely regarded to be one of the scariest sequences ever committed to celluloid.
Janet Ellis gained plaudits for her role as Marion Crane and she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress prize at that year’s Academy Awards. Hitchcock himself was up for Best Director at the Oscars too but neither of them took home an award on the night.
Psycho’s legacy is secure, though, having been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress in 1992.
The movie was also the inspiration for a TV prequel, the psychological horror drama Bates Motel, which aired between 2013 and 2017.
Widely considered to be a classic black and white horror film, Creature From the Black Lagoon stands up to scrutiny to this day. Released back in 1954, the movie was even filmed in 3D.
A pair of sequels – Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us – were released and Creature from the Black Lagoon has been the inspiration for plenty of other media as well.
A Creature from the Black Lagoon slot game is available to play, with the look and feel of the game mimicking the visuals of the classic horror movie. Immerse yourself for free in the old story by checking out where the slot game is available to play with free spins right now.
Slot games based on various other classic movies – such as Superman – are available as well.
The feature film debut of feted director David Lynch, no list of the top black and white horror movies could be complete without a mention of Eraserhead.
An experimental body horror flick, Eraserhead is set in an industrial landscape with the plot focused on a man’s attempts to care for a child who is badly deformed.
Eraserhead did not gain a lot of attention among the general public on its initial release, but it grew in popularity as a midnight movie later on.
Like Psycho, Eraserhead has also been preserved in the National Film Registry in America.
The zombie films that we know and love today can mostly have their origins traced back to the release of Night of the Living Dead.
George A. Romero’s monster movie was a smash hit at the box office, making around 250 times its production budget, while it was a success with the critics as well.
Short and sharp at just over an hour and a half long, Night of the Living Dead featured a mostly unknown cast. Romero was said to be inspired by the 1950s horror novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, which much later went on to be made as a film starring Will Smith.
Various sequels and remakes of Night of the Living Dead have been released over the years, but nothing comes close to the original.
All the way back to 1920 now for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which completes our list of the best black and white horror films.
Robert Wiene’s movie is considered one of the most important and influential in cinematic history, as well as a perfect example of German expressionism from its era.
Available to watch in full on YouTube, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the story of the titular hypnotist who commits murders through the use of a somnambulist by the name of Cesare.
Heavily influenced by World War I, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has been described as “the first true horror film” by top film critic Roger Ebert. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is also one of the few films to have a 100 per cent fresh rating from critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.