Happy Friday! Welcome back to my Decades of Dread series! As I mentioned earlier this week, for this series I will be sharing some of my favorite films from each decade. It’s my hope that this gives folks some ideas for their #100HorrorMoviesIn92Days Challenge! Today I’m talking about one of my all-time favorite decades of film, the 1950s!
- Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)- “A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discover a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one of the men on the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love.” Creature is one of the last main (non-sequel) Universal Monster movies I saw but is definitely my favorite. The effects used are incredible for the time. It’s a true classic.
- House on Haunted Hill (1959)- “Frederick Loren has invited five strangers to a party of a lifetime. He is offering each of them $10,000 if they can stay the night in a house. But the house is no ordinary house. This house has a reputation for murder. Frederick offers them each a gun for protection. They all arrived in a hearse and will either leave in it $10,000 richer or leave in it dead!” This film will always be a top-tier favorite for me. It is one of my earlier horror memories and forever a favorite. Plus, it stars Vincent Price. What’s not to love about that?
- The Ghost of Yotsuya (1959)- “The ghost of a samurai’s wife takes revenge on her husband.” This film starts out a little slow but once it picks up, it is really good! Like a lot of Japanese cinema of this era, the imagery is really striking as well.
- Lake of the Dead (1958)- “A group of friends travel to a cabin in the Norwegian forest. It’s a rumor that at night a crazy man can be heard screaming at a lake nearby the cabin.” Lake of the Dead is atmospheric and moody which is always welcome. However, it does feel more like a mystery than folk horror so temper your expectations to that and you’ll really dig this one.
- Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957)- “A young woman discovers she is the daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll and begins to believe that she may also have a split personality, one of whom is a ruthless killer.” I love this sequel/retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is a fun take on a story we’ve seen countless times. It isn’t perfect, but it is an entertaining watch!
I hope this list helps to acquaint you with the horror of the 1950s! Looking for other films from this decade? You can also find more on Letterboxd! Of course, I have also put together a Letterboxd List of 1950s horror that I also really dig. What are some of your favorites from this decade? Let me know in the comments below! Early next week I’ll be posting about my favorites from the 1960s so be sure to check back! In the meantime, feel free to check out some of my other horror movie lists or reviews!