Welcome to my latest series, Decades of Dread! In this series, I’m planning to share 5 movies from each decade that I enjoy! I will be linking to their Letterboxd page so that you can easily add them to your watchlist or find out where they are streaming. I decided to start with the 30s since I’m not as well versed in 20s horror. If you are interested in 1920s horror I can recommend The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Haxan. However, we’re here to talk about the 1930s so let’s get started!
- Dracula’s Daughter (1936)- “A countess from Transylvania seeks a psychiatrist’s help to cure her vampiric cravings”. This movie was one of the first Universal Monster films I ever saw. It has always stuck with me and has been a favorite. If you only pick one film from this list to watch, make it this one!
- The Black Cat (1934)- “After a road accident in Hungary, the American honeymooners Joan and Peter and the enigmatic Dr. Werdegast find refuge in the house of the famed architect Hjalmar Poelzig, who shares a dark past with the doctor.” Lugosi and Karloff play well off of each other in this film making it an absolute blast to watch.
- The Old Dark House (1932)- “Seeking shelter from a relentless rainstorm and landslides in a remote region of Wales, five travelers are admitted to a large foreboding old house that belongs to the extremely strange Femm family. Sepulchral Horace Femm and his obsessive, inhospitable sister Rebecca are the group’s peculiar hosts. The house also holds surprises – and a brutish mute manservant named Morgan.” A snippet from this film was featured in House of 1000 Corpses and when I was finally able to watch it, I understood why. This is worth checking out!
- The Mummy (1932)- “An ancient Egyptian priest named Imhotep is revived when an archaeological expedition finds his mummy and one of the archaeologists accidentally reads an ancient life-giving spell. Imhotep escapes from the field site and searches for the reincarnation of the soul of his lover.” The Mummy is another Universal film that was a part of my formative years. Between my love of ancient Egypt and my burgeoning interest in the genre, this one just hit for me at the right time in my life.
- Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)- “The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.” One of the first horror movies my mom showed me was Vincent Price’s House of Wax. Believe it or not, that film was a remake of this film! If you can check this one out in its remastered format, you won’t regret it. It is absolutely stunning!
I hope this list helps to get you started on diving into the horror of the 1930s! You can also find more films from this decade on Letterboxd! I have also put together a Letterboxd List of 1930s horror that I enjoy but didn’t make the cut here. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below! Stay tuned because I’ll be posting about my favorites from the 1940s soon! In the meantime, check out some of my other horror movie lists!